June 30, 2016

Interview with WBAI-FM

Hola Wafers-

I recently taped an interview with WBAI in NY, and you can listen to it if you plug the following url into your browser on July 2nd, 2 p.m. NY time:


If that timing is not convenient, WBAI will be sending me an audio link sometime after July 2nd, and I'll post it on the blog. (There won't be any particular time slot attached to it.)

Hope yr all having a great summer. Keep in mind that our next president will have Botox in her face.



Anonymous James Allen said...

Looking forward to listening to the interview.

Under the heading "You can't tell your active shooters from your active-shooter drill participants from your regular security patrol from your crazy sumbitches," the following:

"JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. (AP) — The military base outside Washington where the presidential plane Air Force One is stationed was temporarily locked down Thursday after an "active shooter" report that turned out to be a false alarm.

The report stemmed from someone who made a distress call after seeing security forces doing a routine inspection. The confusion was heightened by a planned active shooter drill at Joint Base Andrews that had not yet begun. Officials said in a Facebook post Thursday that there was no shooter and no threat to the base or workers there.


Wishing the worldwide WAFer community a safe-ish 4 July. Remember that lots of people out there are borderline psychopaths, and some of them are armed.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Rusty, Jefferson-

Thanks for yr support. Killary can kiss all our tushies! Why the hell not finally turn this stinking garbage heap of a country over to Trump, our mock-proletarian? Personally, the implications of Trumpism have become too irresistible.

Say, speaking of irresistible, take the case of Leslie Mills. After her repeated demands for sex were rebuffed, Leslie picked up a hatchet and went after her suitor:



ps: I just wanna say that Wafers are w/u, Leslie...

8:21 PM  
Anonymous kenny boy said...

mb and WAFers... anyone following the floundering deutsche bank, italy going under and all the knock on effects of brexit?

the folks below sure aren't. gotta love the optimism of the prog lib lemming class. every day is a new adventure.


i'm off to roll another number for the road.

ck it:


8:21 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

The picture accompanying the article reminds me of a Clive Barker movie :


"New U.S. research has concluded that the use of Botox, which mellows out wrinkles, makes it difficult for people to see expressions in your face. The lead researcher compares it to having a 'poker face.' "

How about we just grow old gracefully and unapologetically? What's wrong with that?

On a more serious note, an article I finally got around to reading by the iconoclastic independent thinker Frank Rotering :


"... my conclusion is that the essence of life is awareness – a subjective state that is rooted in the objective world of physical reality."

9:14 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

I've been thinking, the one and only value in America, and increasingly the world as a whole, is get rich, at any cost, preferably legal, but if illegal do what ever it takes to cover your bases. When your rich, you are a real person, not a serf or a prol anymore. Only the rich matter. If your not rich and famous you'll never be on the news, essentially you don't exist, unless you commit a crime or something, outside your co-workers, and family, essentially you don't exist, except to pay taxes, and buy stuff, to help the rich get richer. It doesn't matter how many dead bodies or broken lives, you need to lay waste to get to the goal, being rich is the only prize you need to keep your eye on. Of course the rich don't call it hustling, or scamming, or exploiting workers in their businesses, they call it creating value. I'm worth this much because I have created value. Maybe when your rich enough, you can alleviate your conscience, by giving to a few foundations, or creating one of your own. If your lucky you can come on the Charlie Rose show, and together you can celebrate When your rich, being liberal or conservative is irrelevant, you can go anywhere in the world, dine in the finest places, explore the best eco-friendly habitats, while your houses and businesses and activities add obscene amounts to the global carbon footprint and have serfs dependent on your every move at whatever you dictate they deserve, you can always just eat eco-friendly foods if it helps you feel better. You can fuck who ever you want, buy off who ever you want, and the best thing is it doesn't matter who is president - the worse case if things get really bad, you just move to some other stable resort to hang out at, maybe play some golf, till the chaos clears. The only bad thing there is - is dying. So in being rich, essentially Hollywood liberal elites, are no different than sport elites or fortune 500 elites, they can do whatever they want, they are the only real people.

10:07 PM  
Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Morris Berman: "Keep in mind that our next president will have Botox in her face."

Undoubtedly...and the other corporate party assailant will be hospitalized, after the landslide, to remove all the sand and gravel from his ass.

3:40 AM  
Blogger jml said...

This comment is not related to the interview. But, I thought WAFERS would find this funny:


6:13 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB and Wafers worldwide:
Another memo to American Idiots:
31 Top Scientific Associations release new public letter to America’s leaders.
Quoting “ Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research concludes that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. This conclusion is based on multiple independent lines of evidence and the vast body of peer-reviewed science.
There is strong evidence that ongoing climate change is having broad negative impacts on society, including the global economy, natural resources, and human health. For the United States, climate change impacts include greater threats of extreme weather events, sea level rise, and increased risk of regional water scarcity, heat waves, wildfires, and the disturbance of biological systems. The severity of climate change impacts is increasing and is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades. “

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Antarctic Novel said...


Paul Kingsnorth on voting to leave/sense of belonging to a place/alternative paths


8:37 AM  
Anonymous Jung Marx said...

Wowie Zowie ~ Listening to Trump rail TTP and cite liberal economist Dean Baker to buffer his own trade policies. I've even heard Chomsky, Wallerstein cite Baker! What planet is this?

Hell, what next, Chomsky for his VP choice? Looks like he already set him in a suite HAH:


8:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Kingsnorth, smart guy. The Wake is similar to one of my favorites, Riddley Walker, by Russell Hoban.


I adore Leslie, and I wish her every success in her search for a good shtupping.


10:29 AM  
Blogger mike said...


Surprising there were no guns in play.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice one in the WP:

"What’s the next step in the war against Islamic State-based terrorism? U.S. presidential candidates have talked about their plans to “smash the would-be caliphate” (Hillary Clinton); “knock the hell out of ISIS” (Donald Trump); and “carpet bomb them into oblivion” (Ted Cruz).[...] Is military might in Syria the best way to combat the group, also known as ISIS?"



6:39 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@John S,

I agree with you. That is what most people seem to be into, getting rich. On one level, I can't blame them, since in America being rich is considered to be closest to being godly and it opens so many doors for you. But what happens when your dreams don't come true, as is the case for the vast majority of people? Then I am afraid we get all of the perpetually angry, rude, obnoxious people that populate the United States and elsewhere. I think this refusal to recognize any kind of limits, of any alternative to living outside of the hustling "get rich or die trying" mentality is what is fueling much of the depression, suicides, shootings, and other forms of illness in our culture.

In a society that has destroyed any kind of non-material value, the only things left are health and wealth, and you see this in the extreme hustling and lust for money, the extreme attention to health and looks above everything, steroid use among men and even women, the obsession with selfies, breast and butt implants, etc. And when people can't "make it" they either fake it or eventually crack and go nuts.

7:46 PM  
Anonymous stephanie said...

Yes, I suppose most of you have some understanding of one another.

My family, mostly second generation "college educated", third and fourth now, are really a sad experience. The other day I defended the followers of trump as not necessarily fascists, in that they have grievances, and our phony left uses that to divide and conquer. But I got a message from a cousin who is a lot older than me, and she type the most horrific things about me as anyone ever has. I am a loon -- we've all heard it. I never worked hard enough...

Jesus. I feel as I found out many people do in car crashed, just walking out into the street. I won't of course. But god this is really getting ugly and people I swear to god are too stupid to bother [even] to talk with.

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Dawgzy, (from the previous post)
Yes, and let's not forget how Reagan was able to delay the release of the Iranian hostages until he became president. I can just imagine what was said between Bill Clinton and the FBI director on the plane yesterday. He probably threatened to have one of her relatives killed if she pursued an indictment. So many books say that the Clintons operated a virtual Murder Inc. throughout Arkansas when he was governor.
I almost went to the Phillies game last night because they had fireworks after the game. What stopped me was the fact that I'd have to be among thousands of techno-morons. Sure enough I looked in the paper this morning and saw a picture of a Philly player returning to the dugout after getting the winning hit. More people were capturing the moment on their I-crap than actually experiencing the event with their own eyes.
ABC news had a story about an escaped orangutan at a Florida zoo last night. It was sitting on a tree quite able to land and kill someone. Think anyone left the area around the tree? Of course not. They were all capturing it on their I-crap. Imagine the mentality of a parent with his or her child(ren) taking a video of the animal. Didn't they realize the immense danger they were putting themselves and their children in just to take a video? As the great doctor says, "Game over."
Finally, one good thing about Brexit was the fact that Great Britain was Israel's greatest defender among the EU nations. Now more critical countries like Sweden can come to the fore.

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Job said...


Interesting film on per capita murder rates and guns , focuses on Honduras/United States comparatives

11:41 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sadly, it looks like the Democratic platform will defend the occupation of Palestine, and ignore Bernie's attempt to speak up for the Palestinians.


Look, here's the bottom line: most Americans are douche bags, and there's no reason yr family shd be exempt. Be sure to look at your post-it every day (on yr bathrm mirror): I LIVE AMONG DOLTS.


On Americans going nuts, check out the bk by Mark Ames, "Going Postal." Meanwhile, there was a recent article somewhere abt the nations of the world saying that Americans were arrogant jerks. Unfortunately, the article forgot to add that we are also violent and stupid.


We are also douche bags, as noted above. There are thousands of videos like this around, but as u say, usually involving weapons.


1:18 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

Just tuned in... great as always!...

Certainly, Americans being black and white on everything with no understanding of nuance. 'History being messy' in the discussion on chap. 4.... great stuff!

the word "Think" not applying to Americans... reaction as the norm for sure!

"going to jail for feeding the homeless" yeah, there are no noble causes anymore in the states unless somehow there's a gun is included... (the armed citizen saving the day by blowing away the bad guy in the supermarket - so to speak)

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Rorschach said...

I missed the interview, please have WBAI send you the audio link as soon as possible!!

5:24 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Tom -- another problem with the mindless pursuit of wealth and "health" is that one is often incompatible with the other. When I was in the middle of the cancer battle that nearly killed me, a coworker of mine who is very health obsessed was quizzing me about how I contracted the disease, especially since I was not overweight and he knew I was a runner and weightlifter. When I explained that I had none of the risk factors for pancreatic cancer other than maybe job related stress, he became visibly nervous. No doubt he always thought that by keeping his body in perfect condition he would never have to worry about cancer.

I then said something about how we have no idea how being surrounded by technology and consuming modern food additives is affecting our health, and that pretty much ended the conversation.

6:44 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

From my experience, the majority of Trump's followers are indeed fascists. However, a good many of them - maybe 40% - are simply people with nothing to lose, people who have lost confidence in the system and want to gamble on someone like Trump. Many of these people realize that Trump offers a quick bullet to the head rather than the drawn-out torture Hillary would perpetrate, and this definitely appeals to them. The problem is that although Hillary represents the culmination of a global corporate dictatorship, Trump doesn't offer anything that would be less than catastrophic. Perhaps Hillary is even worse, but at this point, does it really matter? America is finished, and nobody can significantly alter the speed at which it will collapse. Trump may want to instigate a very rapid collapse, but sheer bureaucratic inertia will limit his ability to do this. We'll just have to watch America crash and burn at its own pace; we obviously can't influence it in any way.

1:19 AM  
Anonymous Mark said...

The Clintons (both Hillary and Bill) are some truly awful individuals. I'm not sure how many people here have heard about this already but Bill Clinton is heavily involved in the 'Billionaire' Jeffrey Epstein child abuse scandal. Now Trump could use this stuff against the Clintons during the campaign but of course he's very closely associated with Epstein as well!!! It's funny how all these people seem to know each other.

I grew up in England during the 80s because my Dad was in the U.S. Air Force. My Mum is English/Irish and my Dad is African-American and I experienced a lot of racism growing up. Long term, i think the Brexit is actually a good thing but it's also given a lot of racists the feeling that they can go back and do what they used to do before. Scotland is going to go and will probably move their society more towards a Scandinavian model. Northern Ireland might be next after that, I'm not sure about Wales, though.

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Vince said...

Hello MB,

I hope that all is well.

I enjoyed your interview.

The link for the interview is below.


I just read this and thought that I would share it. It flies in the face of the remarks that one of my television viewing neighbors made to me yesterday about people defending our freedoms.


8:26 AM  
Anonymous Justin Jay said...


LRB on post-capital futures

8:48 AM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...


Dr. B and others

Check this out.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

So, Wafers, here is the permanent (archived) WBAI link of the interview that was aired yesterday:


Enjoy! Meanwhile, back at the ranch: prepare yrself for 8 yrs of Botox, and never forget that we get the leaders we deserve.


12:22 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


Don't tell the sacred square footage in the best sections of San Francisco America's done. Prices can only go up!

I've had several friends lost to the never-ending tech bubble. Humane, literate people who have become convinced that this San Francisco economy will be the future.

Basically, everybody will be impoverished except senior developers, who will develop software for other senior developers. They can pay each other and live well while everybody else... uses YouTube?

There is no alternative but to code. Anything but tech worker = subsistence wage.

4:14 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Mark - that Jeffrey Epstein scandal is a truly breathtaking example of how far this country has descended into banana dictatorship in all but name. Once again, we are presented with evidence that Bill Clinton is a serial sexual predator, yet dingbat feminists continue to overlook the obvious in their insane lust to see "one of their own" in the Oval Office. It doesn't matter how many women Bill abused or possibly even raped, nor how many other women have had their economic livelihoods or actual lives destroyed by policies espoused by both of them. And on the flip side, the scandal offers more proof that Trump is literally in bed with all the same odious individuals they are.

I just returned from a short beach vacation in North Carolina, and I almost couldn't stand to be out enjoying the sun and the waves for the epic clown show that was on display. Living in NoVa, I'm exposed to a lot of techno-buffoonery on a daily basis, but down there I was additionally reminded of just how many grotesquely fat, overly-tattooed, disgusting slobs there are in this country. Every parking lot was overloaded with oversized pickups and SUVs, and I saw at least a half-dozen Confederate flags flying proudly, including two huge ones hanging from the back of the same F-250.

I really wanted to drop some of those idiotic liberals who dream of a people's revolution into the middle of all that and ask them how they think such a revolution is likely to go. They just don't seem to get that those ARE the people, and they are very much going to get the "leadership" they so richly deserve.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Eric Green said...

Hmm, I may be fortunate in that I come from a family which is more skeptical and NMI-inclined. (They haven't heard of WAF, of course; maybe I should remedy this.) Most of them think that Trump himself is a clown, but they acknowledge that yes, the masses in America have many legitimate grievances, and the Trump phenomenon is largely an expression of this. Most of my relatives take the "These are the best candidates we could find?" line, and I say, well, perhaps not the "best" but maybe the most representative. You have a hollow, amoral, career-driven probable psychopath vs. America's enraged, screaming id. Who wins?

As for your previous comments about the Nobel, MB, I don't know. Since they gave the Peace Prize to Obummer and Kissinger, I think I'd take any lack of recognition from the Nobel committee as a compliment. If they think you're swell, then that probably means you're a queef.

Jazz interlude: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmqZc2pTO-Y

4:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, I wasn't thinking of the Peace Prize, per se. Also, I dunno what a queef is.


6:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Joe Domino-

If yr rdg this, big thank you for review of TMWQ, which I only just discovered:



6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It's not some woowoo kinda thing". Haha, great interview thanks!

Good article on Technodouchebaggery 2.0 in the Guardian. Will remind some Wafers of Nicole Aschoff.

"Such frictionless and fictitious humanitarianism persists only because it expresses a deep yearning for a quasi-magical world, where technology – and today technology is indistinguishable from private capital – could step in and miraculously resolve all our problems."


6:46 PM  
Anonymous xypeter said...

You know, I tried to join a meetup group of people with similar interests here in DC, where I unfortunately recently moved. There was some trouble because of duplicate profiles and my joining-form didn't work, so I wrote to the organizer. I was feeling sad and lonely because DC is alienating, which was my whole reason for joining well duh. So -- you know -- in typical American holiday-weekend loneliness -- I wrote: "The form didn't work. Maybe this is yet another sign that I shouldn't live in DC."

And, the organizer actually wrote back and said, "Great attitude, have a nice day!" and barred me from joining!

You just aren't allowed to feel sad and lonely, even when joining a group for the lonely. And you certainly aren't allowed to feel sad about this place! If you say anything other than "this place is great," then everyone hates you and kicks you in the teeth.

Happy independence day everybody. And by independent, I mean all by yourself till perhaps you jump off a bridge.

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Tom said...


When New York’s Mom-and-Pop Businesses Disappear, so Does a Neighborhood’s Character

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...


I remember in the 1990s the tech industry seemed like a refuge for hippie types. They were seen as different from Wall Street. Now, however, the tech bosses seem even nastier than Wall Street. They seem to take a certain pleasure in "disrupting" industries, which inevitably translates to misery for most workers in these industries outside of elite tech workers.

The Democrats love Silicon Valley. Liberals should let that sink in a bit.

10:40 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...


The human capacity for self-delusion has no limits. Americans will always believe that their country is the best in the world, all evidence notwithstanding. They will believe this no matter how much they and their fellow countrymen suffer, no matter how much legal and economic injustice plagues the nation.

This ties into Morris's most recent interview that he posted about the need to recapture a "horizontal" way of living in which we look at things as they are instead of abstracting them into what they are not. Because most people have become disconnected from horizontality, they can't appreciate other people, great art, or the natural world. Everything is abstracted into monetary profit, personal image, career advancement, political power, etc. To such people, the numbers spat out by a bank statement matter infinitely more than the entire Amazon rainforest. Which country does this description bring to mind? America of course.

I walked outside tonight and saw for the first time in many years the beauty of the plants growing outdoors. I wasn't walking to improve my health or achieve some goal; I was walking because it was natural and felt good. As I walked, I looked at things as they were rather than speculating about what they might be underneath their appearances. It turned out that I could glean everything I needed to know about people and objects simply by apprehending their appearance. Flowers were gorgeous, towering trees were majestic, and people on their cell phones were disconnected from their surroundings. What a beautiful way to live.

12:49 AM  
Anonymous Chocoflan said...

Yeah, let's call it off because it might be illegal, not because of how insensitive the whole thing is:


2:00 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

I was talking to a long time friend the other day who supports Killary. When I mentioned that many people who support Trump are simply tired of being shafted – NOPE – they’re all racists. Then this from a cousin of mine:

“The Clintons, when not on camera, actually spend most of their time thinking about the problems of the world and how to solve them.” Right. Delusional beliefs are what’s sinking us.

Because I don’t have many friends, I’ve decided that I’m just going to tell Republican family and friends that I voted for Trump and Democrats that I voted for Hillary because, of course, one must vote. But if I do, I think I’ll write in Cthulhu.

Here’s a bumper sticker all Wafers will appreciate:


6:13 AM  
Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Bill Hicks: "I really wanted to drop some of those idiotic liberals who dream of a people's revolution into the middle of all that and ask them how they think such a revolution is likely to go. They just don't seem to get that those ARE the people, and they are very much going to get the 'leadership' they so richly deserve."

Lest we be reminded you were in North Carolina -- not exactly a cauldron of liberal thought and expression. But I get your point. Perhaps you should change your next beach destination to southern California...or Costa Rica.

Morris Berman: "Also, I dunno what a queef is."

I haven't a clue either -- still trying to determine what's a "Wafer".

By the way, listened to your interview yesterday. Anyone who's compared to Chris Hedges is a friend of mine.

Also listened/watched an interview that you did at the Dominion Bookstore in Charlottesville in 2007. Haven't quite finished, but there seemed to be some push-back and resistance by a couple of audience members to your ideas. That's not surprising. I think that once people work through the cognitive dissonance of the contradictory beliefs they're asked to consider, they come out on the other side with a newfound strength and freedom. But that's the trick. Facing, then accepting the truth, is most of the battle.

May another "Independence Day" be in America's future.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

"What if it turned out that the mechanical philosophy of the 17th century was nothing more than an ideology?" Morris Berman, recounting a thought he blurted out years ago, at ~6 minutes in.

Man the hair on the back of my neck just stood up too just now.

I heard this on Saturday while driving and letting the radio search for stations, and I just replayed it now because since I heard it I've been having one of those guys I respect think alike moments. I read your Twilight of American culture book back in 2000-2001 --I found it browsing the stacks at the old Borders book store in the World Trade Center complex. Read that Don DeLillo cloud book after that --great recommendation, thanks. Anyway it's been a few years maybe since I'd read, listened to you or checked out your blog, and I was like, wait, I recognize this guy. Who is this? And then you said that and I thought, ok, that's just like this other guy's thing. I gotta run this down when I get a chance.


"Thus, the rise of the Cartesian universe had significant economic implications, but those economic implications would only become explicit after the principles of Newton's Principia had been incorporated into the Whig regime after their accession to power following the Glorious Revolution." E. Michael Jones, Barren Metal at 455.

See, also, http://www.culturewars.com/2011/Newton.htm.

Cool, right? I get from both you and Jones that the 'mechanical philosophy' junked an important reality of life, that there is something beyond, that there are deeper realities. For one, for me it's interesting that you both use the word magic but for different purposes. You call the religious thinking before this revolution magic thinking, but to be respected nonetheless because it recognized these deeper realities --that from this crooked (fallen?) timber nothing straight was made. Jones uses the word magic to describe how Newton and/or the ideologues either consciously or unconsciously, intentionally ir unintentionally, smuggled and thrust this system on the world.

Anyway, it's fascinating to me. Am I correct to see some agreement?

Thanks again. Great to hear you sounds well and still working.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Well, this is the day I, for some time, used to celebrate with some General Tso's Chicken and egg rolls. Don't remember if it was that I became too cynical to enjoy even that small degree of rebellion, realized that the Chinese were likely otherwise motivated or preoccupied, or Chinese restaurants stopped being open on the 4th of July that led me to give up the tradition. Perhaps it was a bit of all three.


I'm only able to get through the 1st 20 minutes or so of the new interview before it locks up on me; but I was very excited to hear you discuss your earlier trilogy. I've suspected your ideas on that front would speak to me quite directly. Exasperating issues with my vision, concentration and mood, however, make reading an even more an arduous task than earlier in life. I still read some, including Twilight of American Culture just recently, but fear the weightier material may be beyond my reading uptake capacity these days.

I'm wondering, Dr. Berman, if you have video or audio tapes of some old lectures lying around? Recently, I've been watching alot of Murray Bookchin lectures from the late 80's and early 90's that have been posted on YouTube. It would be great to see more of you on there as well -- if you had them and were so inclined to share them, that is.

I've actually been wanting to ask this from when I first started posting on the blog, but...

1:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks, but pls note that we have an informal rule of a half page maximum per post. So next time, pls compress a little. Thanks.


Too long, cdn't post it.


A Wafer is someone who is a fan of WAF (Why America Failed).

So it's July 4th. Some of you still seem to be confused about America or reactions of the people you talk to. Here's the deal: If you can get it, that Americans are basically morons, the confusion clears up.


1:28 PM  
Anonymous David G. said...

I just finished reading "Techno-Fix: Why Technology Won't Save Us or the Environment" by Michael Huesemann and Joyce Huesemann. I found it to be an excellent survey of all of the issues related to the social and environmental impacts of technology (lots of Wafer-themes here). It points to the profit motive (capitalism) as the root driver of technological change, which ultimately rests on people's willingness to buy this stuff. David Korten's book "The Great Turning" is cited in which five stages of consciousness are described -- essentially steps in human maturation. According to this framework, most people are stuck at the third stage, social consciousness, which is reached at about age 12. Few go beyond to cultural and spiritual consciousness. In other words, most people are developmental retards. This connects with Benjamin Barber's assertion (in "Consumed") that people in our consumer culture are "infantilized". This being the case, it seems completely hopeless to me that any progress can be made in this country to follow the suggestions that are made in the final chapter of the book about how technology "should" be guided, democratically and ethically rather than by profit-seeking corporations. So, while I found this book to be an excellent diagnosis of the ills of technology, I also felt depressed about the prospects of making technology serve real needs and not be destructive of society and the environment. Who is going to do this guiding? If developmental 12-year olds are the market, they will continue to buy all the whizzy techno-toys etc. Nothing can change unless people evolve to the higher levels of consciousness (one of their suggestions) -- well, good luck with that. So, as Dr. B said in his recent interview, change won't happen in the US. Maybe Paul Kingsnorth is right -- that change is futile, so better move to the country, learn to farm, and become self-sufficient.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Eric Green said...

@ MB

If you mean the Literature prize, yes, I'd agree that they have somewhat better aim. But, if we're on the subject, where are Borges and Calvino, and why not Twain when he was alive? And Vidal, for his historical novels (I liked 1876, Burr, and Empire! in particular)? Criticizing the empire evidently doesn't earn you many friends in Nobel-land, although the criteria do seem strangely arbitrary.

Also, queef, n. 1) The sound a vagina makes when it sucks in a bunch of air for no reason, and then blows it back out, i.e., a vaginal fart; 2) A convenient descriptor for many American politicians and captains of industry.

Meanwhile, project "get the ragheads" seems to be commencing, as predicted:


2:59 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

"Also, I dunno what a queef is."

I suspect that WAFers share the sentiment expressed by the Roman playwright Terence, who wrote the following:

[in Heauton Timorumenos (The Self-Tormentor)]

Homo sum: humani nihil a me alienum puto.

I am human, I consider nothing human alien to me.
Act I, scene 1, line 25 (77).

Queefing explained by a medical professional from Yale Medical School.

Hoping to have been of service.

3:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jas, Eric-

Thank you for sharing. I'm all queefed out.


Also check out WAF, ch. 3.


I don't personally have any audios or videos of my lectures, but if you plug my name into Google, quite a few of them come up.


4:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wealthy Americans got class dept.:


5:14 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB - hey, that brawl took place in North Carolina. Why am I not surprised? Incidentally, when you drive over the border the signs welcoming you proclaim that NC is "America's Most Military Friendly State."

Jefferson - I've been to the beaches in Southern California. The only real difference is that the freak show out there involves far fewer overweight people. What really matters both in CA and NC is how much blubber they have between their ears.

5:23 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

"Never entrust command to anybody over 40."


I heard this in a lecture the other day, and it really reframed this absurd election in a new light.

Since Reagan, the United States has become a kind of gerontocracy. Now we have two major candidates around the age of 70 running for office.

It's hard to say if the downfall of the US makes old leadership appealing, since the younger generations want to evade responsibility in a failing system, or if the old leadership is driving the downfall. But the fact is that we have a bunch of has-beens ordering us around, and doing it without any regard for the long term consequences.

The society increasingly exhibits a neurotic inflexibility in all matters of public life. This is senility. Trump is a good example of this "fence mentality". Build a wall! Leave me alone in my gated retirement community while I continue to run your life for you.

I think that Napoleon said this because only vanity can motivate a commander of a certain age, and there's no bigger vanity fest than the US today.

Ofc, the Constitution also enshrines this with age requirements, so maybe the war of the old against the young is a part of American DNA, following the Roman model of old men sending young men to die in foreign wars to remove the domestic political threat.

Btw, Napoleon was 42 at Waterloo.

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

I read the comment section. It was sad reading pheasents defend these rich a-holes. Like u said they are embarrassed millionaires

7:59 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

I had to look it up :

Mark, Dr. Berman and WAFers -



Are we really living in sort of a modern version of Sodom or Gomorrah?


(sardonically speaking) : Maybe the age of consent in the USA should be lowered to 16 (15? , 14?), just so Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and other very rich and lustful older men would not be criminals.

Sigmund Freud would not be surprised.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Not surprised?


to what level have we stooped, a.k.a. more technodouchebaggery:


WAF-ers, I finally watched "Where to Invade Next" and cried almost the whole movie. Though I do realize the whole movie is full of cherrypicking, I loved the Italians who said it is the Italian dream to move to the US, then looked agape when they realized they would be lucky to get 2 weeks vacation. Finally someone brought up my problem, I have a crap-ton of vacation time, but little $ to go anywhere.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


For me the most poignant aspect of that film was the comparison between the US and other nations, showing quite clearly how cruel we are as a people.


11:48 AM  
Anonymous COS said...

The Great John Gray this past week:

For Romney-style Republicans, the anger of former artisans and much of the middle classes is the hopeless resentment of a bunch of losers – the useless 47 per cent who live off government handouts. For many liberals, the perplexity of these groups at finding they have no place in society expresses an intolerable sense of entitlement. Bernie Sanders has stood out in recognising the negative impact of immigration on workers who are already threatened by low-cost imports of manufactured goods – a break with liberal orthodoxy for which he has been duly attacked. But Sanders has conceded the Democratic nomination, and not many in America’s submerged classes are going to vote for Hillary Clinton. Whether Trump will be able to command the wider support he needs to win the presidency remains to be seen. If he does, the result might be another variation on American crony capitalism. Ending the Bush and Clinton dynasties and involving less interventionist foreign policies and a break with free trade, it would still be a major shift. But America has not always been a free-trading nation – far from it – and moving to a more historically normal stance towards the world would not turn the country into an authoritarian backwater.

Events like Brexit and the rise of Trump seem inherently improbable only if you expect the future to be like the recent past. Some such assumption underpins the polling techniques that have given such misleading forecasts. Rationalistic liberals look for errors in statistical methods to account for these failures – sampling mistakes, hidden biases, over-reliance on telephone or internet data, and the like. Yet a more fundamental explanation lies in the discontinuities of history. Politics is not like baseball – a finite series of well-defined contests whose outcomes can be used as the basis for calculations of probability. When the game changes in politics, the upshot cannot be captured in any mathematical formula.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


For what it's worth, Clinton is ldg Trump by 5%.


12:06 PM  
Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

What isn't rigged, is fixed. Clinton will "win" in a landslide. The powers-that-be will not allow a Trump presidency. It's the Clinton's turn again.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I suspect it will be a legitimate win. I.e., Hillary will get more popular votes and more electoral votes than Trump, without any rigging or other shenanigans. We shall continue the Bush-Obama presidency, but this time with Botox.


2:44 PM  
Anonymous Mowgli said...

A Dead Statesman
I could not dig; I dared not rob:
Therefore I lied to please the mob.
Now all my lies are proved untrue
And I must face the men I slew.
What tale shall serve me here among
Mine angry and defrauded young?

Rudyard Kipling

3:20 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers of the World,


Many thanks for yr most recent interview w/WBAI Radio. A most excellent interview. I think it's pretty obvious now that Wafers should marshal a Draft Berman for President 2016 petition:


MB, Wafers-

Americans in Action dept.:




7:33 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

The president has now joined Hillary's campaign for the Democratic nomination. The BS, already piled Trump-Towers high on all sides, can only get higher. Consider the following passage, which I encountered as I began reading Teaching as a Subversive Activity, by Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner.

"Watch a man being interviewed on television and you are observing a demonstration of what both he and his interrogators learned in school: all questions have answers, and it is a good thing to give an answer even if there is none to give, even if you don't understand the question, even if the question contains erroneous assumptions, even if you are ignorant of the facts required to answer. Have you ever heard a man being interviewed say 'I don't have the faintest idea,' or 'I don't know enough even to guess,' or 'I have been asked that question before, but all my answers to it seem to be wrong'? One does not "blame" men, especially if they are politicians, for providing instant answers to all questions. The public requires that they do, since the public has learned that instant answer giving is the most important sign of an educated man,"

Put on your hip boots, WAFers. The shit's only gonna get deeper.


11:04 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Thank Christ the 4th is over--I spent the hour after sunset when all the fireworks were going off in my neighborhood drowning out the explosions by cranking up Green Day's "American Idiot" album on my stereo. I did resist the temptation to open the windows and aim the speakers outside, however.

Speaking of American idiots, here's one of those legendary "responsible gun owners" who, pissed off that he accidentally shot himself in the leg, went ahead and fired off another round for good measure:


And it wouldn't be the 4th of July without some poor bastard getting hit the head by celebratory gunfire during the fireworks:


11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Wafers,

A good article on Brexit:


7:49 AM  
Blogger Eric Green said...

The 4th of July, when Americans celebrate their values by blowing themselves up:


8:51 AM  
Anonymous that's amore said...


secession from a diff. kind of union

9:05 AM  
Anonymous SeekingSanity said...

Here are some good essays WAFers might enjoy featuring the ideas of Karl Polayni. He shows that "ancient economies did not grow primarily out of trading and markets, but rather out of reciprocity, redistribution and householding." Scroll down the page to start with part 1 of the series.


What do you know, human nature is more about your social responsibilities, interactions and relationships than about screwing the next guy to make a buck for yourself. Who woulda guessed? The essays are interesting reading and good material for debating free market fundamentalist.

Concerning being rich, I would love to be rich for the simple reason of buying my freedom from this life and soul crushing system. I don't want the big house, the fancy cars, the entourage, or any of that status crap. I just want the freedom to create, hike, learn, and enjoy life without the incessant grind of the treadmill. I find it fascinating when most Americans come into money they buy themselves deeper into the trap rather than free themselves. Thorstein Veblen was right.

And to wrap up on the topic of progressives/liberals: They may finally catch a clue about this crap heap of a culture collapsing when the economy shutters the door of their favorite hip, groovy coffee house, whose stickers litter their car bumper and whose logo covers the mug they carry in the other hand that isn't holding the iPhoney.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Post only once every 24 hrs, thank you.


11:19 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

For most of history, the majority of humanity was oppressed even more fiercely than Americans are nowadays, and yet genocidal sentiments did not proliferate among the citizenry very often. Why the sudden impulse toward genocide? I think it has to do with the unpredictability, alienation, and dislocation perpetrated by neoliberalism and globalization. People can no longer assume anything in their lives is durable; they often wake up the next morning only to find out that they have to move 2,500 miles if they want to keep their jobs, or suddenly find out that their life savings was wiped out by the volatility of the market. The struggle for individual survival in the midst of this chaos has made friendship almost impossible to attain, forcing individuals to scrape by without any social support. This, I think, is why we are seeing Hitlerian political movements all over the world at this time. After all, Mexicans are much worse off economically than Americans, but they have lots of social support, and therefore do not have an inner void that must be filled by fascist ideologies.

11:32 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


I've run into so many women who claim to accept those ideas. It's almost become a bad cliché.

In nine cases out of ten, it isn't about actually challenging notions of marriage and culture, or even about sexual promiscuity, but simply about indulging a deep overriding sense of uncertainty and insecurity.

People may write about allegedly noble hunter-gatherer roots for the poly lifestyle, but it's actually a symptom of hyper-capitalism. Never satisfied, never full, never can have enough and actually be happy. How dare anybody interfere with my right to a complex, pleasure maximising voluntary contract?

Also, this kind of "clan" living seems to be a big cover up for dire economic straits. It's really an effacement of individual dignity, which was once a prerequisite for monogamy.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Construction worker, Erick Cox, buried his boss waist deep w/a front-end loader, then proceeded to beat him into unconsciousness:


Tatyana Allen, 18, arrested after she beat up her boyfriend w/the couple's own infant.



3:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Americans in action! Gotta love it.


5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MB et al,

I'd like to write something profound, witty; but I can't compete.


6:30 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...


I recently had a chance to listen to your WBAI interview and found myself drawn in as I was reading your 2 trilogies years ago. I've like what you described somewhere on the blog that you write books as if you were causally talking to people in their living rooms. This interview had just that tone to it. The content isn't casual the tone is. It reminded me of what I have always enjoyed about your writings over the years. For me the contrast between talking about how dumb, stupid, idiotic etc Americans are is huge...even though I know the blog is about pointing this out.


8:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, the blog is abt a lot of things, but principally the factors causing the collapse of the empire. A couple of things come to mind. 1st, to my knowledge there are only 4 social critics who pinpointed American stupidity as the cause of national dysfunction: H.L. Mencken (he referred to the middle class as the "booboisie" and in 1920, predicted that 100 yrs hence an actual moron wd occupy the White House--turns out, it only took 80); George Carlin, whom we've quoted here many times; Gore Vidal, who stated pt blank that the US was "a nation of morons"; and--li'l ol' me. Of course, I don't have the talent or visibility of these 3 gentlemen, but that may not matter. The problem is one that de Tocqueville pointed out in the 1830s: democracy can work only if the population has a reasonable degree of intelligence. Well, we don't; and it amazes me that this abs. crucial factor is ignored by literally every political pundit and cultural critic around. No one--left, rt, or center--is willing to voice this unpalatable truth, except me and the 3 Musketeers; and they're dead. So Chris Hedges is going to make a socialist revolution from a population of morons, who in fact are only interested in a revol'n from the rt (hence Trump), if they are interested at all. The progs keep hoping for a left-wing hero, and when Bernie goes down the tubes they keep on fighting for him, and will surely find another guy like him in 2020 (Schmernie; feel the schmern!). Bottom line, as the 3 Musketeers well knew, is that you cannot rescue or turn around a nation when its population can't even find Iraq on a world map, whose youth think that smart fones are the be-all and end-all of existence, and who say in street interviews that the nation was founded when America separated from China (in 1776). Or when women coming out of the Women's Study Center at UC Santa Barbara eagerly sign a petition opposing women's suffrage (thinking that suffrage = suffering; what were they doing in class, anyway?). Most Americans think our enemy in WW2 was the Soviet Union, and are completely unaware that Germany got split in two after the War. Etc.

2nd, I'm keenly aware of the irony, that I argue in WAF that we failed because we marginalized/ignored dissident voices for 400 yrs, and that WAF gets completely ignored or willfully misunderstood. Americans are literally incapable of reading a page of text and understanding what it says, as I saw in the reaction to my chapter on the Civil War. The final chapter of my Japan bk states explicitly that when I talk abt Japan as a possible post-capitalist formation, I'm speculating; that it's not a prediction. Then I read revs that say, "What an idiot Berman is, claiming that Japan is the wave of the future." Jesus, what can one do, with this type of audience, that has little more than goat shit in their heads? With people whose idea of reason consists of inaccurate, and emotional, B&W clichés?

Consider this link provided by dg, above:


You think this is exceptional? Think again. When I lived in DC, almost every day I wd run across a street sign, or institutional sign, that was misspelled: "Childern's Hospital," etc. The only sign that had it right was a bumper sticker I saw, way back then: YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID.

Anyway, I saw no need to rant and rave abt it for the WBAI interview; since it won't change anything anyway, I figured a casual tone was as gd as anything. Mencken was dismissed as a crank; Carlin didn't count, because he was a comedian; and Vidal was fabulous, but his actual legacy is questionable. As for me, I'm not on the radar screen, and never will be. But beyond my own ego, wh/is irrelevant, the fact remains, as I showed in the Twilight bk, that the dumbing down of Rome was a major factor in its collapse, and the same is now true of us.


9:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Think how much higher these figs cd be if the police were properly equipped with AK-47's, drones, and nuclear devices:



10:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Imagine hitching yr wagon to Bush Jr's star!:


2:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Looks like American families are being destroyed, across the board. What sort of future can such a society have?:


5:26 AM  
Anonymous Balance said...


6:05 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

to M,

Thanks for your in depth reply, appreciate it! Of course it makes sense to me that the US empire is on it's way south. You and the 3 musketeers have done and are doing this country a service. I know you're not holding your breathe for any kind of recognition...being in the land of the prophets isn't always a gratifying experience.

from, M

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...


I was thinking about this the other day. Mexicans are poorer than Americans but they seem to be less insane than we are. Yes, there is cartel violence and corruption but that has more to do with bad governance and economics (including the North American appetite for drugs) than some kind of mental malfunctioning among the population.

I would agree that the social support issue is key. If you have some social support from friends or family, various life setbacks are not as awful as they would be otherwise. But in the United States with its dog-eat-dog, alienating culture, if you are down it is your fault and you are a loser and you deserve it. Better not ask anyone for help because they will think you are trying to ruin their bliss or whatever Oprah cliche is popular now.

Friendships in the United States are mostly shallow and flimsy things. Families are collapsing and young people are not even bothering to form families because nobody trusts each other as relationships are becoming endless mind games. How can you have healthy friendships or romantic relationships when many of your peers are outright narcissists?


2:06 PM  
Anonymous Rorschach said...

I just read the Washington Post article you shared, Morris.

"He found that the best predictor of a school’s outcomes was the quality of the children’s families....schools are reflections of, rather than cures for, the failure of families to function as the primary transmitters of social capital."

This is absolutely true. I'm 23 years old, and so many people in my age group come from households that are totally screwed up. From the 50's onward, the number of dysfunctional American families has exploded. More single parent households, more households where the parents are too busy working to truly raise their kids.

It seems like the collapse of empire is both an explosive and implosive process. There are the death from 1000 cuts (external) and the breaking down of all the institutions that make up the empire i.e infrastructure, families.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB, Wafers-

Well, Killary certainly has friends in high places, no? Everyone and their brother knows that Killary subverted the Freedom of Information Act when she set up a private server with the intent to protect her communications from public scrutiny and political criticism. This fundamental truth seems to apparently escape the brain of FBI director Comey. Killary repeated blatant falsehoods about all this during her primary run against Bernie which helped contribute to Bernie's defeat. And what did Bernie do about this? Bupkis! Nada! Zilch! Why Bernie didn't *hammer* this point home? Seems like a no-brainer to me. Who knows if it would've made any difference, considering the stultifying stupidity of the American voter, of course. Anyway, as far as I can make out, the only explanation for this is: a) hysterical fear of Trump w/in Democratic/Prog circles b) MB's point about how Bernie was *only* there as a candidate to give us the illusion of choice c) or a C. Wright Mills/Power Elite-type of analysis in which institutional power is held by elites who make and play by their own set of rules -- a conspiracy of higher circles, so to speak. What do u guys think?

Meanwhile, the disastrous legacy of the "decider":



3:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I suspect the cuts are both internal and external, and reinforce each other.


I'd settle for a small dish of chopped liver at this pt. Or maybe this as an epitaph: "He fought the douche bags; he lost."


4:46 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

She is to big to jail. The laws in America only apply to us peasents.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous John said...

American police in action....


Look at the callousness of the officer in the face of a dying man and how the officers treat the woman who shot the video. Chilling.

Last night, I was driving back from the YMCA and an officer got behind me and followed me, he then switched lanes and rolled up real slow next to me. I was terrified. It was dark and no one was around. I shouldn't have to live that way. One of the signs of a sick nation is the presence of murderous police officers and I shouldn't have to nor could I if I wanted to, try to figure out which one of these cops is "good" or "bad." The police even almost arrested me for going into my own house. America has failed in many ways.

It's popular to disparage the black community in the United States and talk about lack of fathers, crime, etc...these are all serious issues and black people need to get it together but as a speaker of four languages, holder of degrees,and a pretty sophisticated guy, I would like to remind my fellow Wafers that being an educated and peaceful black man doesn't change anything in America. In fact, it often makes it worse. Just look at what happened to Dr. King.

Personally, I agree with Robert Bellah, author of the Broken Covenant, I believe he wrote that America never moved past its two primordial sins, Indigenous genocide and slavery. I believe that much of the failure of the country can be traced to the lack of respect for the "other" whether they be Sioux, Apache, Black, or Vietnamese, Iraqi and Afghan.

As Dr. Berman has so thoroughly explained, the rejection of the "other" in America doesn't restrict itself to color or ethnicity but it encompasses thinkers that hold perspectives outside of the mainstream. I guess the American education system is working....it's churning out propaganda-fed automatons incapable of historical analysis or creative imagination.

Americans will have to atone for their sins... who is guilty... you decide....

But for an analysis of state violence and who bears responsibility, I recommend the book by Karl Jaspers: The Question of German Guilt

6:47 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

John David Ebert is an honorary WAFer. I would even go so far as to mention him as a modern day John Ruskin. Ebert is an art critic, film critic, scholar on existential philosophy and mythology, writer and more. Here is his outstanding podcast, a conversation with DARRYL D. COOPER, revolving around Oswald Spengler and his "Decline of the West".


an excerpt from the brief intro to the podcast :

"Donald Trump seems to have awakened dormant animal spirits in American society at the same time that populist, nativist leaders have done the same across Western civilization. Nearly 70% of Democratic voters in the United States indicated that they would have wanted Hillary Clinton to continue her run for the Presidency even if the Department of Justice had decided to indict her for one or more felonies. In the age of Sulla and Marius, Caesar and Pompey, faith in institutions broke down and the loyalty of Romans consolidated around powerful personalities. Is the Western world entering into a time of purely personal politics?"

John David Ebert is a member of facebook's "Morris Berman Appreciation Society". It is likely that he is familiar with the trilogy "Twilight of American Culture", "Dark Ages America", and "Why America Failed".

7:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, I'm glad *somebody* appreciates me (sniff; sob).


8:10 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...


Well, certainly there is a different set of rules for the elites as opposed to the hoi polloi. But honestly, I don’t think anything escaped the brain of FBI Director Comey: He is part of the system and will do what he’s told to do. Obviously his mission was to save Hillary and Loretta Lynch (after she compromised herself by speaking with Bill Clinton) by taking the unusual step of announcing the FBI “findings.”

I concluded many years ago that there is some kind of conspiracy at the top, and that the knowledge of the people underneath is compartmentalized so they’re clueless as to what they’re a part of. I no longer accept the notion of coincidences. One of the reasons conspiracy “theorists” are denigrated is to prevent the masses from putting the obvious two and two together. So when you see those in power doing something that’s really stupid, know that it’s being done on purpose to advance an agenda we’re unaware of.

BTW, has anyone noticed that any questioning of the Clinton’s ethics is always muddied by their claim of being victimized by a vast right-wing conspiracy? See, they will use the word conspiracy when it suits their purpose.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

"Man Bites Girlfriend" -- another candidate for "the face of America." Bonus: check out the amazing outfit this douchebag wore to court as he was arraigned on domestic violence charges:


On the unlimited stupidity of Americans front, it seems that 80% of Americans favor mandatory labels on foods containing DNA, and 32% think vegetables are DNA-free:


Which, of course would indicate that 8 out of 10 idiot Americans not only have no idea what DNA is, but want something done about it anyway. It bears repeating that these are the same idiot Americans that so many liberal "thinkers" believe will someday lead a people's revolution.

8:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is exactly the kind of data I'm talking about (Marianne take note). And as for the douche bag who bit his GF: did u.c. that face? This is the face of America, and it don' look a whole lot better than Kim Jong-un.


Well, it depends on how you define the term. Check out my essay, "conspiracy vs. Conspiracy in American History," in QOV. The reality is rather complicated.


10:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: and speaking of douche bags and colossal dummies, here's an intellectual breakthrough for ya: Obama calls the onging, nationwide gunning down of black males by white cops a "serious problem." Gee, do ya think?


ps2: check this out:


I remember how the cafeteria in the House of Representatives changed the name "French fries" to "freedom fries," and how these demented warmongers called the French "cheese eating surrender monkeys."

It's hard to imagine a more stupid people than the Americans.


10:37 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


Half of the women our age think it's perfectly normal to sit with a man on a dinner date and make animal faces into a phone in lieu of conversation.

You may want to enjoy a Sunday car ride with your beau, looking forward to the summer sights and sensations. Your American 20-something girlfriend will be more engaged in the creation of such "artistic" pursuits on her "device"...


The other half will become angry and defensive if you point out this growing tendency or remark on it as a problem, will accuse you of overgeneralizing, and prove equally incapable of meaningful conversation, substituting instead a kind of ego and relation protecting rationalization fest.

Nothing is EVER actually wrong... you just need to add a supplement to your anti-depressant!


I have several friends who impose a "no anti-depressants" screening for all romantic partners. I used to find that harsh, but it seems to make more and more sense the older I get. You have to take a kind of brusque approach to see if there are any goods left beneath the damage, so great and widespread is the damage.

Work your 70 a week job, marry a social media addict, and try to steal a few minutes with her late on a Friday night. You can snuggle up and watch the hunt for the latest madman on the lose, a killer cop, a killer of cops, or just your garden variety spree shooter.

Love in the age of...

3:14 AM  
Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Morris Berman: "I concluded many years ago that there is some kind of conspiracy at the top, and that the knowledge of the people underneath is compartmentalized so they’re clueless as to what they’re a part of. I no longer accept the notion of coincidences."

Agreed -- there are no coincidences. It should be no surprise, for example, that criticism of the official narrative regarding the events of 9/11 is always treated by the mainstream media as the 800 pound gorilla in the room.

So it's no wonder, really, that H. Clinton walked -- considering that the FBI has looked the other way, for decades, surrounding the Clinton's money-laundering schemes in Arkansas when Bill was the head honcho down there during most of the 1980s and up to his elevation to the U.S. presidency in '92.

The whole system is fraught with corruption. When a citizenry (and I use this term loosely) allows others to do the governing, and doesn't have the time or the wherewithal to monitor what's going on in their name, they get what they deserve. As I said, it's little wonder.

3:55 AM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

Police shot in Dallas . If this is not Isis it means the peasants are finally revolting. http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/08/us/philando-castile-alton-sterling-protests/index.html

6:12 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I don't post Anons. Pls pick a real handle (e.g., Chopped Liver) and re-send. Thanks.


I like the idea of a bomb robot that the cops used, but feel that everyone shd own one. Not really fair, that the police get to have a bomb robot and the rest of us don't. The thing is, as I've advocated b4, if everyone in the US were armed to the teeth, then everyone cd shoot everyone, wh/wd be quite a scene. Anyway, check out Mark Ames, "Going Postal." In addition: pls post only once every 24 hrs. I've mentioned this 2u b4.


I hope yr not quoting me there; I never said that. As for conspiracy, it depends on how you define the term. Check out my essay, "conspiracy vs. Conspiracy in American History," in QOV. The reality is rather complicated.


9:30 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

The shooting in Dallas is a sign of what's to come. As things fall apart, everybody will blame somebody else, and it will lead to more anger and violence. There will be no working together. The real reasons for American decline won't be realized. As our culture runs up to the limits of exploitation of nature/people, everything will get worse. All these millions of guns sitting around will be used, but the time hasn't come yet.

I believe there is still time to make it somewhere better, but most urban areas in the US will likely turn to chaos in the decades to come once the ecological collapse really hits home.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous COS said...

Dio Genes,

Very insightful comments. In my practice of psychiatry I find the behaviors you describe to be fairly common. Some suffer from these tendencies or are distressed b y being surrounded by zombies. Those who seek my services are not representative of general pop due to being affluent (or prioritize seeking help_ and have some level of self awareness. People toss around terms without much thought. Alienation is the culprit here. People are in effect estranged from themselves and in effect do not know what to do with themselves, thus constant distraction with phones, TV, eating, sports, consumption etc. People in U.S. (and other places) can't sit still with themselves or others, they must be "sharing on devices" or going to do "something". It may be a capitalist society tendency as Marx pointed out but I think there is more to it. Fear of death as well as some inate sense that the myths which have served to hold the society together (defining concepts, behaviors, norms) have broken down and thus people are fundamentally adrift and bereft of meaning in their existence.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Be sure 2c a film called "Anesthesia."


10:46 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

A nod of thanks to Bill Hicks for the "DNA food labelling" article. It impelled me to reach back into my files to find an appropriate quotation. This one would seem to fit:

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.
Henry Louis Mencken

With an eye on the imminent--and eminently irrelevant--political conventions:

As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

And as for Dallas, a sterling example of a country coming apart at the seams.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

Dr B said: "Obama calls the onging, nationwide gunning down of black males by white cops a "serious problem." Gee, do ya think?"

Mohamed said "Police shot in Dallas . If this is not Isis it means the peasants are finally revolting."

Well, it was a matter of time before police start tasting its own medicine.
They are not the only people with guns. There are more Americans with guns than the members of the stupid police. We work and pay taxes so as to pay their salary, and they want to kill some of us unproved or unnecessarily. Well, this is a state of silent war. In a war, you do what you have to do to defend yourselves.

Obama is irrelevant here because he only cares about his family alone, and he only cares about helping those thieves in the Wall Street. CNN is reporting that the guy who did it was in ROTC. It is about time some of those brothers in military begin to turn the guns to their #1 enemy here in USA.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB, Wafers-

Thanks for yr points of view on the larger question of "justice" in America. I think that it might be as straightforward as there isn't any justice in America anymore, and the system is in free fall. Alton Sterling was executed by the police for selling a damned DVD in Baton Rouge for heaven's sake, while George W. Bush gets to ride around on his bicycle for his 70th Birthday; still a blissful, empty, clueless, and vacuous douche bag:


Anyway, sorry for the rant, but we don't live in a free, fair, and civilized society, and freedom and democracy are just words to brainwash the masses at this point.



1:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm just waiting for a president (any president) to tell the American people: "Go get a gun, and shoot the first person you see. Then do it again." This would be a true leader.


2:58 PM  
Anonymous Lukas said...

They are now reporting that the ex-military shooter in Dallas acted alone and that he had bombing-making materials in his house. He said the recent killings of Black people by cops made him do what he did.

I tell ya, it will get worse before it gets better. I think ISIS is teaching a lot of Americans how to revolt individually against the unjust system in America. Lone wolf revolutionary phenomenon is now here in America. Next time it may be a huge suicide bombing in a crowded mall or super-market. Police will kill these young people anyway. Why not kill one self while teaching the slave master a valuable lesson of their existence: fear. The trend must be already creating huge fear among the slave masters in America. Karma is good! When you go around the world killing people or when you shoot unarmed Americans in cold blood, as a means to your racist, selfish end, you are bound to bring out the beast in human beings. This is what happening now. This is not 1940.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

GSWH, I think this is my favorite talk of yours that I've heard online so far. Now I know I've got to read "Wandering God," which I confess I have not yet done (I hang my head in shame).

Your description of what you call horizontal or hunter-gatherer consciousness reminds me strongly of the type of awareness which is given visual expression in the works of my first and most important painting teacher, a man named Bill Martin (you can see his work at billmartingallery.com). His work is nature-based and visionary; in many of his pictures the eye is invited to wander from some exquisite natural object to subtly variegated textures and fields of color, like an early hominid looking for berries, but also like an explorer seeking out objects of beauty and delight.

Within the context of western art history, I suppose the images that correspond to what you term vertical awareness would involve the religious imagery of the pagan and Christian traditions - viz., the Greek gods and Christian iconography. If I had to think of an artist in whom these two forms of awareness meet, the first that comes to mind is William Blake. Those and the Hermetic tradition more or less span the range that I like to work in and in terms of which I tend to think. This, it seems to me, is a tradition worth preserving against the encroachments of civilizational decline.

As to our political situation, it is as you say beyond all hope. My present suspicion is that Hillary (the giant flying reptile, as J.H. Kunstler aptly calls her) is so awful that even the odious Trump is, believe it or not, the lesser evil. Personally I don't plan on voting, but have a secret hope that the latter douchebag will win, just to stick it to the status quo. Awful consequences are guaranteed to follow in any case.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


On comparisons of horizontal vs. vertical aesthetics, check out my Japan bk, chs. 1-2, and also the last chapter of CTOS. I'm actually giving a lecture on the subject in Chile this September, if you'd care to pop down. :-)

Hillary is more correctly a giant flying douche bag, and may indeed be the greater of two evils. You know, in 1964, everyone was convinced that Goldwater was the greater of two evils, and this proved to be not the case. I'm very sorry that she's going to win, really; just more grinding slow death for this poor, miserable nation of ours.


Well, we sowed the wind, and now we are reaping the whirlwind. What cd be more obvious?


7:48 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

As far as the Dallas shooting goes, I don't think the elites even care anymore. Americans are killing each other like crazy but nobody seems to want to discuss the essential problems of America. The news outlets and most bloggers will play the blame game and continue to fan the flames of racial hatred. I suspect nothing will change. I would not be surprised if most wealthy people are either planning to live in fortresses or just leave the country entirely within the next twenty years if not sooner. The few affluent people I know are already thinking of emigrating. They most likely know that the country is doomed.

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

What does everyone here think of Black Lives Matter? To me, it represents a turning away from the idea of universality that led to the flowering of the Civil Rights movement. The Civl Rights movement was fundamentally about equality for *everyone*, not benefits for only one group. Now, instead of universal values, we have opposing camps: Black Lives Matter and White Lives Matter, Gay Pride and Straight Pride, Republicans and Democrats, and feminists who really do genuinely hate all men. While these groups are mouthing off like spoiled adolescents, and their leaders are getting rich off of book contracts and public speeches, the whole country is sinking into chaos.

For me, identity politics is a morbidly fascinating example of how hundreds of millions of people can passionately embrace a kind of cultural kind of civil war, complete with many opposing factions and all the hatred and venom that inevitably follow. Identity politics fosters a lack of empathy toward people outside one's own group, a distorted and self-centered perception of reality, and an irresistible urge to be offended all the time about everything. It divides the citizenry and enables the elite to more effectively exploit and oppress just about everyone. It also makes positive social change impossible, because a populace infected with identity politics only desires social benefits for their own particular group, and will even go out of their way to oppose universal social benefits for that very reason.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


No, the civil rts movement of the 60s was abt equality for black people; MLK and Selma etc. weren't abt equality for "everyone." "Everyone" didn't hafta worry abt voting rts and wh/public bathrm to use.


1:17 AM  
Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Morris Berman: "Jefferson- I hope yr not quoting me there; I never said that."

Relax, Dr. Berman, it's okay. The words are all mine. I suspect, however, that the 800-pound gorilla traveled all the way to Mexico with you. ;-) You've confirmed my point.

"As for conspiracy, it depends on how you define the term. Check out my essay, 'conspiracy vs. Conspiracy in American History,' in QOV. The reality is rather complicated."

I believe the premise of your essay to be even more timely today than in 2008 -- which, given the momentum of the corporate state, stands to reason. The conspiracies -- the "isms" that Americans hold dear to their hearts -- have embedded deeper, with more ferocity and intensity each passing year, and more hollow and empty than ever. It's all part of the American illusion -- the propagandized lie about the "American dream". It's all coming home to roost.

Big government meets multinational corporation, meets Madison Avenue. Joseph Goebbels would have be envious.

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Wile E Coyote said...

Wafers might find this article worth reading: http://nationalinterest.org/feature/when-the-robots-rise-16830?page=show

Curious to hear their thoughts...

7:06 AM  
Anonymous Tom Knight said...

new bio-pic coming out, stars Michael Keaton as the founder of Mcdonalds, heard a spot on the radio w/ some dialogue from the film, Keaton's character describing the golden arches as the new church of America, "not just open on Sundays"

can i get a WAFer burger w/ sprite and fries?

8:15 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I frankly don't understand what yr talking abt, and I can't imagine I confirmed any point you made. Also, I don't think you really understood my QOV essay on conspiracy.


Yes, Freedom Fries!


10:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This is kinda nice:


Meanwhile, everyone agrees the events in Dallas are a terrible thing. I think they said the same thing after the previous massacre. And the one previous to that...

Finally, I think the Yemen story and the hometown massacres have a lot to do w/each other.


10:52 AM  
Anonymous John S said...

Physicists like to create thought experiments on alternative universes to explain our universe, some even propose we live in a universe in which every possibility actually occurs - the so called many worlds view of quantum mechanics. I contend that if we lived in a slightly altered alternative universe in which Bernie Sanders became the democratic nominee, and even president, it would make zero difference whatsoever both to the current politics in America or the long term downward trajectory of the country. Sure it would be entertaining, in a different way than Trump. Sanders would govern like the prophet Jeremiah, hurling rants about inequality and other subjects which would be tied up in knots by professional gridlock, by the power brokers, reinforced by the stupidity of the populus in general, so nothing substantial whatsoever would change. The rhetoric without action or any underlying desire to make the revolution happen, would quickly turn into despising and contempt of Sanders, probably within the few months of his presidency. He would get the Jimmy Carter treatment on steroids. The way to sell change is the way Obama does, sell the illusion and allure of change, rather than trying to actually change anything, Americans after all vastly prefer seduction to truth.

But back to the real world were getting Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Two quintessential all-American douchebags, using quite different methods to get to the same end - self-enrichment through scamming and suckering people in politics and in business, to amass a fortune at the expense of everyone else, but lets not be too down on them, they aren't different than the majority of citizens, they are just successful examples of what America produces, what America really is about.

The mass shootings - reinforces the fact that we just need more and better high powered guns, and we need to kill more terrorists - that's the only solution.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, right on target. If Bernie became president, things wd of course roll out as you suggest; but then, the progs wd need to find a new so-called liberal hero, who could *really* turn things around. Schmernie! As for Trumpo as pres: it won't happen, but what cd be a more solid vindication of the thesis of WAF? The ultimate hustler inhabits the White House, and can say quite honestly: "I AM America!" Of course, the 2 candidates come with certain extras, in addition to being hustlers:

Trump: a vulgar boor, and bigot
Hillary: a botoxed douche bag, and liar

This is what the 'choice' facing voters on Nov. 8, is; sorta like choosing between Wendy's and Burger King.

As for daily massacres, I'm not sure anyone really cares anymore; it's practically background music by now. My guess is that less than 0.1% of Americans can tell you who Dylann Roof is, for example. The pattern is clear: outcry; hand-wringing; failure of any effort at gun reform; and then forgetting it all. Return to top, recycle.

All in all: the US is a bad joke, as well as a sad one, and it can only get worse. If there's one thing we can all count on, it's that.


4:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Here's a nice farce:


He should have won the Nobel in Douchebaggery, I'm thinking. Jesus, what a moron.


5:58 PM  
Blogger Dawgzy said...

Hola, WAFers. Greetings from the land of the great unraveling.
Thanks for linking to the interview, interesting and enlightening, MB.
Mrs. Dawgzy and I recently went to see "le Grand Jeu" ( the great game) a film from last year. It's an examination of French power politics and of how people get caught up in it, or step out of the mainstream. The middle of the movie is a long dialogue about Dual Process! Positively un-American, embedding ideas into a nice movie like that!

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

I think the linked photo of people posing for a cell phone photo in front of mounted officers in Dallas sums up America today-


8:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I think they might mean something by Dual Process that is very different than what I mean...or at least, I've seen it used in a very different context. But I can't remember what it was, just that it wasn't the same thing I've been talking about. I'm not terribly motivated to trademark it, however. ;-)

Meanwhile, here's biz as usual:



8:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


That really is perfect, isn't it? I tell ya, the amount of human garbage being cranked out by the US today is astounding.

Meanwhile, this video from Chris Rock is quite funny; one wonders if it was intended as satire:


We really are careening toward the Abyss, my friends...


8:29 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Here we have what has go to be the biggest collection of American douchebags I have ever seen:


...the property owner said that "the only animals there were the people, a thousand of them." He told the Post:
They drowned themselves in Champagne, they had midgets they threw in the pool, they broke into the house, trashed the furniture, art was stolen, we found used condoms. So many people were there that the concrete around the pool crumbled and fell into the water. It was like ‘Jersey Shore’ meets a frat party. We are preparing a massive lawsuit.

8:38 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

For those of you who are worried that the USA is forming into a vast circular firing squad, lighten up.

To put the murders and massacres of the last few days into a global perspective, I thought you'd be interested to hear that on last night's news on France2, France's historic victory over Germany in the Euro Cup was the opening story, and warranted about 30 minutes of air time, compared to about five minutes about the Dallas police ambush.


9:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, what can ya do? That's America!

Meanwhile, let me record the death of Jenny Diski, on April 28. Courageous writer. I particularly enjoyed her little bk on the 60s.


9:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bringing the war home: this from the NYT:

"Micah Johnson wrote in his journal about a combat tactic known as “shoot and move,” Dallas officials said. He used a similar tactic during the attack on Thursday night." Karma, amigos; karma.

Meanwhile, we are quite simply a nation of douche bags:



10:31 PM  
Anonymous David G. said...

My wife and I have been watching CNN series "The Sixties" and "The Seventies", each of which has 10 or so episodes of the notable events and issues of those days. Two things really struck me watching these shows: (1) those days were really chaotic and awful; and (2) all of the issues are the same as today. That time feels apocalyptic as I watch (as a teenager and young adult, I wasn't paying that much attention at the time). One possible reaction to remembering the 60s and 70s is that things have been this way for a long time, so ho hum, that's just the way things are, and the country will continue on. Or, one could say that those days were the beginning of a long downward trajectory, which has accelerated and continues today until we crash and burn -- it just takes decades for all of this to play out.

So, my question to the Wafer group: Are things substantially different or worse today than they were back then to make us feel that America is really doomed? I suspect so, but I am wondering what is the critical difference today. Probably this question is answered already in Dr. B's trilogy (which I have read, but it's been a while ago), but I am wondering if there is a brief answer or some guidance to the pertinent points in this regard. Thanks all ...

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

is this blog based on mexicos time zone?

11:34 PM  
Anonymous BH said...

I knew one of the policemen killed in Dallas. I did not know him well, knew his two brothers and father a little better. He was a good guy though and did not deserve that.

11:57 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

MB, Wafers-

Re: Bringing the war home

Have u guys seen the film "Tracks" w/Dennis Hopper from the 1970s? Hopper plays a Vietnam vet returning home to bury a buddy who was killed in Vietnam. It turns out that there is no body inside the casket; it's full of guns and ammo. Hopper essentially goes postal, shooting his way thru the town. As he's gunning people down, he's yelling something like, "You wanna go to Vietnam? I'll take u to Vietnam!" Is this Micah's story as well?

I recall MLK saying something like how inconsistent it was to tell a society such as ours to shun violence in the streets when we practiced state-sanctioned terror on the people of Vietnam. This is as true today as it was in King's day. Americans can't seem, or don't wanna, make the connection between the massive violence we deliver in the Middle East and the daily slaughters occurring in this country. This makes much of the cries out there "to just make the violence stop" ring hollow.


12:43 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...


Good point about Sanders and Carter. I agree that any president trying to put through major change in this country would eventually be attacked by everyone, even their own supporters.

I just watched Jimmy Carter's "crisis of confidence" speech. It is almost impossible to imagine a president today discussing the problems of the country like Carter did. Most Americans want the American Dream to continue, albeit in different forms. The Trumpers want to revive the America of the 1950s where white men were more obviously in the driver's seat. The Hillary supporters basically want the status quo but with more opportunities for racial minorities and women to get rich too, hence why they went for Hillary and not Bernie. They perceive that it is their turn to have the American Dream and Trump and Sanders are seen by many to be the candidates for white males.

In NY Bernie only won the white male demographic: http://americablog.com/2016/04/sanders-exit-polls-new-york-hillary.html

I think even Bernie supporters want the American Dream, just in a more egalitarian form. I think Sanders has his heart in the right place but I think he perhaps places too much faith in the decency of the average American. I think most Americans are still obsessed with getting rich.

2:13 AM  
Anonymous teri schooley said...

Dr. Berman,

It's been quite awhile since I last left a comment, but I still come by and read the blog and its comments frequently. Best corner of the interwebs!

What a strange place the US has become. This election makes me kinda miss Sarah Palin. I think Trump's missing ingredient to a real winning run at the WH would be to add Sarah to his team. Wouldn't that be just the thing? Think of it: the Donald and the Sarah making speeches together all around the country. There could be an entirely new job market with Oracles assigned to interpret the mysterious verbiage pouring forth from the Oval Office. It would be the first stream-of-consciousness executive branch in history.

On a more serious note, I am a bit surprised that no-one is willing to touch upon the fact that the "Dallas shooter" was a veteran. The black/white and cop/civilian aspects are obvious, but I think there is something more there that the media and politicians don't want to touch. We are training these guys to kill, sending them off to "protect America" from countries that mean us no harm (the shooter served a tour in Afghanistan), and bringing them home with their weapons and their militarized mindset. It appears, if reports are anything like accurate, that huge numbers of the vets come back with PTSD, have a tendency to commit suicide or murder, or to abuse those close to them. Lots of reports of wife-beating, rape, and child molestation.

Whatever the guy's job description while he was on active duty (I think they say he was in building construction), the basic training on use-of-force methods are still part and parcel of the military life, and he remained in that life through the Nat'l Guard when his tour ended. He ended up pitting himself against the militarized police forces in the Homeland.

Hope you are well and wishing you the best,

3:04 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd to have you back. Re: Dallas shooter: see my comment above abt bringing the war home. This is karma w/a vengeance.


It's also known as the 'spiritual malaise' speech. Check out the Carter sections of DAA and WAF. American people responded by putting an utter jackass into office in 1980.


I have no idea.


Those days were indeed chaotic, but not awful. In many ways they were glorious, esp. since there was always a real sense of hope that things cd be changed, even fundamentally. Sometimes it felt like we were breathing oxygen. Today, it feels more like nitrogen. We live in a spiritual deadness or void today; that was definitely not the case back then. There was no way a grotesque buffoon like Trump cd have been a presidential candidate, at least down to 1980. In addn, the economy was expanding, down to abt 1973; now, the US is heavily in debt, w/huge unemployment to boot. We also cared abt each other, at least to some extent; the ethos of hatred of the poor and the less fortunate hadn't become a kind of national ideology, complete with an astounding narcissism. Finally, the serious dumbing-down of the country had yet to show itself; difficult, intelligent bks became best-sellers, and schools and univs were not yet a joke, as they are today. It's true, as you say, that we were on a long downward trajectory, but only a few Americans understood this at the time (e.g., Andrew Hacker, "The End of the American Empire," 1970). Even the most trenchant critics, such as Paul Goodman, still had hope.


5:23 AM  
Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Morris Berman: "I frankly don't understand what yr talking abt, and I can't imagine I confirmed any point you made."

Please excuse my vagueness. I was speaking of the events of 9/11, and how alternative conspiracy theories - except the one propagated by the U.S. government through the official narrative, and exclusively parroted by the mainstream media - are treated as one may have looked upon Medusa in classical mythology. Never look; never talk about it.

It has replaced sex as the topic one would never discuss in "mixed company". As previously mentioned, it's the conspicuous 800-pound gorilla in the room.

"Also, I don't think you really understood my QOV essay on conspiracy."

Again, excuse me -- I should have used an upper case "C" in place of the lower. Better?

7:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm sorry, I just find yr mode of discussion blurry and confusing, and I don't know how I can help you. In addition, I don't care for accusations directed against me about gorillas, but I can tell you that a long time ago, I discussed the whole 9/11 inside-job theory, and gave my reasons why all of that stuff belongs on another blog, not this one. You may also find other blogs more congenial to that, and to yr own special mode of reasoning. Good luck.


7:50 AM  
Blogger jml said...

"Are things substantially different or worse today than they were back then to make us feel that America is really doomed? I suspect so, but I am wondering what is the critical difference today."

I did not live through the 60's so my perspective may be somewhat off. But, it seems to me that the protests of college students today are very different from the protests of college students in the 60's. College students today seem infantile and want to be protected from the harsh realities of the world, whereas, it seems, in the 60's they had an awareness of a larger world beyond their own identity. Maybe today there are a lot of protests on college campuses about the continued atrocities taking place in the Middle East or the immense tragedy of the Syrian refugee crisis. The only protests I hear about have to do identity politics, which, as we all know, aren't really politics.

9:09 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Plus, we were really informed, back then. We knew where Da Nang was. Today's students can't find Iraq on a world map. In addition, many Americans were capable of understanding quotes such as these:

“One simply cannot engage in barbarous action without becoming a barbarian... one cannot defend human values by calculated and unprovoked violence without doing mortal damage to the values one is trying to defend.” – J William Fulbright, The Arrogance of Power.

How many Americans today cd understand what Fulbright is saying?


9:22 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

"Are things substantially different or worse..."

Both. You don't have to be especially perceptive to see that things are FUBAR. Or to recognize from evidence all around us that the likelihood of reaching agreement on the causes--never mind the solutions--is vanishingly small.

There certainly seems to be a substantial economic component: attested to by the attraction to a candidate who shows almost daily that he has no idea what he's doing--except in the general sense of pandering--but who's also recognized that the folks he's after haven't tumbled to the hustle. And indeed may be incapable of doing so. I suggest that WAFers watch a couple of videos of Richard Wolff, a Marxist economics professor with a Harvard-Stanford-Yale pedigree who explains how the working class hit a wall in the late 70s, their dreams replaced by debt, and their future bleak absent some revolution as yet inconceivable.

Equal treatment under the law is nothing more than an empty promise. Ask any member of the minority community if he thinks the economic, political, and social system treats him and his group fairly, or whether the ruling class likes him on election day(s) but not so much the rest of the year, whether the law enforcement community likes to see him in the street or on the street after dark or prefers he stay inside.

There probably was never a time when these tensions--economic and social--didn't exist, but you'd have to be a pathetic Pollyanna to imagine that the country and the citizens are getting better at recognizing and addressing them. We revel in the opportunity to light candles and hold vigils, to lower the family flag to half staff. It's a bit like a Catholic going to confession, with the acts of contrition standing in for meaningful change. Costs less, less sacrifice and less self-examination required.

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

"One cannot defend human values by calculated and unprovoked violence without doing mortal damage to the values one is trying to defend."

This is precisely what America has done since its inception. Committing genocide after genocide, ostensibly to further human progress, make the world safe for democracy, and spread the Christian religion, has ruined America's soul as well as its intellect. Not only are Americans now incapable of empathy and compassion, they can't even understand what empathy and compassion are. The phrase that comes to mind in this instance would be "poetic justice"; America spent its entire history torturing and destroying various countries and peoples, and that lust for violence is now torturing and destroying America.

I have never seen people as emotionally and mentally tortured as Americans. Regardless of whether an American is poor or well-off, black or white, male or female, straight or gay, chances are he spends his entire life embroiled in psychological suffering, unable to ameliorate it in any way. As a result, the only psychological pleasure accessible to most Americans is sadism; this is why Americans are desirous of killing billions of people.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Sanguillen39 said...


I guess its official, America has a BAD image. Sensing sharks in the water.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

**Dr. Berman** :

Be sure to at least glance at this, even if you haven't the time to listen to the podcast. A quote from one of your interviews about WAF is included in the intro to the podcast. It pertains to the Donner Party in 1847.

John David Ebert's 2nd podcast:

#2 Spree Killers – Dallas, Orlando, Columbine :


12:37 AM  
Anonymous Insightful said...

Japan’s Landslide Election Result Sets Stage For Constitution Fight
Prime Minister Abe controversially wants to revise the country’s pacifist constitution.

(Reuters) - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition won a landslide victory on Sunday in an election for parliament’s upper house, despite concerns about his economic policies and plans to revise the nation’s post-war pacifist constitution for the first time.

Media projections showed Abe’s coalition, like-minded parties and independents had won the two-thirds “super majority” needed to try to revise the constitution’s restraints on the military, a step that could strain ties with China, where memories of Japan’s past militarism run deep.

Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) fell short of winning a simple majority, which would have increased its clout within the coalition. Earlier projections had shown it was within their grasp for the first time since 1989.

Nevertheless, the overall victory will still bolster Abe’s grip over the conservative party that he led back to power in 2012 promising to reboot the economy with hyper-easy monetary policy, fiscal spending and reforms.

Any attempt to revise the constitution will still be politically fraught and LDP heavyweights have suggested that amending the pacifist Article 9 would not be the first priority. Read more:


12:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Many thanks!


12:57 AM  
Anonymous xypeter said...

And on a bizarr-er note -- Do wafers know that July is "Wrong Way Driver Awareness Month"? It's really true:


I do really appreciate the sentiment. Tho, it leads to mindboggling quandaries such as: DO people go driving down the wrong side of a highway just for kicks? And if so, why? By the way, helpful hint: "If you see a wrong way driver approaching, immediately pull off the roadway." Who knew? And do these DBs read websites, or indeed, do they read at all?

Hint: avoid roads.

1:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sure this has existed in Japan for a while already, but what do you Wafers think of this?

On the one hand, it's sad that it's come to this. On the other, if it's a way to make people less miserable, why not?


2:32 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Interesting photo of "robocops" about to arrest a woman; it's become an instant classic-


7:21 PM  
Anonymous Rendar said...

Found this one today, "Pokemon Go is a Monster Mobile Hit":


An excerpt: "Police in Missouri put out a warning that was both terrifying and bizarre: Armed robbers were believed to be targeting people hunting for Pokemon.

Police said the victims were playing Pokemon Go - a new smartphone app that encourages gamers to search local areas to find Pokemon in the 'real world'.

Certain locations offer bonuses and higher chances of catching rare species and that's where officers said criminals had been lying in wait.

Parents might also feel worried about their kids wandering, zombie-like, into areas of towns they wouldn't normally go.

Alongside Missouri's police warning, we've also seen darker scenes in Wyoming, where a Pokemon Go trainer reportedly stumbled across a very real dead body.

And authorities in Washington State are urging players not to combine the activity with driving."

Meanwhile, my wife works in undergraduate student housing at a prominent American university. She texted me the following while at work:

"Another dorm fire - student was charging the battery for his drone when it burst into flames."

You can't make this stuff up! I could hardly keep myself from laughing hysterically in the office where I work. My latest approach to surviving life in America is to view our society through a zoological lens. America is one big zoo and we're all monkeys.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Just another day for the great American freak show. First up--a babysitter sticks a 3-year old in a running washing machine:


Great moments in religion--idiot crashes her car into a house after closing her eyes and praying while driving:


Gun nut douchebag clears out a camp site by firing his handgun through the roof of his tent:


And finally, armed robbers ambush alleged adults playing PokemonGo:


11:11 PM  
Anonymous David G. said...

Thanks Dr. B and the others who replied to my question about the 60s and 70s. This is very helpful to me as I try to look back and put things into perspective. I certainly have less hope for change now for all of these reasons (and I grieve this). I find it hard to imagine 60s-like campus unrest and agitation for change coming from the young these days. They mostly just want job training from their university studies. (I remember as an undergrad in the early 70s that the Zeitgeist was not to worry about a job but to pursue knowledge and one's dream). Also it seems to me that young people are so oriented around technology -- smartphones, internet, social media, etc. -- that this is a distraction (although these have been used to organize some protest events in recent years). There seems to me to be a deep paradox here, though -- that, in contrast to the protesters and hippies of the 60s, today's young are tightly bound with corporate products that are emblematic of many of the problems the young people may wish to protest. How much can a person protest consumerism, corporate control, environmental impact, etc. when you own and orient your life around these socially and environmentally destructive corporate-produced technologies? The entanglement seems complete and has finally strangled any possibility of fundamental change.

11:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't run it (too long).


That's it exactly. All this talk from Hedges et al., abt how we are oppressed from the top down, and only need to overthrow our corporate masters; what crap! We are in bed with our corporate masters; we carry our oppression in our hands.

Rendar, Bill-

Douche bags on parade. It is indeed a freak show, and continues on a daily basis. Just stand back, look at it like an anthropologist. What a joke!


3:01 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

WAFers :

Maybe we really don't want this opulent, dishonest, callous, narcissistic con-man as president, even if he brings the country down faster than the alternative. Trump is a grotesque figure. I am reminded a bit of Caligula and Nero in ancient Rome :

Trump's "Greatest Mentor" [Roy Cohen] was Red-Baiting Aide to Joseph McCarthy and Attorney for NYC Mob Families :


The story of Roy Cohen is nauseating and disturbing all by itself.

7:11 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

WAF-ers. I was just going to post something about the Pokemon thing but Bill and Ren got there first ... but I'll post anyway:


A quote from one of the "players"

“I’ve got a day job. I’ve got concerns about politics, and the overall status of my community, and of my country, and of the world,” he says.

“But at the same time, if you sit and get overwhelmed by that, that’s no fun. So it’s nice to have something that is enjoyable, that gets you outside, gets you a little bit of sunshine and some physical activity.”

Jeezus, how about going outside for a normal hike, look up at the birds, smell the roses? Technodouchbaggery at its finest.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

Money culture, hustling culture! They knew that the abuse of a lot of kids was happening and they did nothing about it. What kind of people are these? There is no line between wrong and right so long as these people are winning. Well, sooner or later, Karma is bound to catch up with wicked and insane America.

Joe Paterno knew of Jerry Sandusky abuse in 1976 per testimony in newly unsealed records


11:29 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

I had a feeling someone would get robbed playing that Pokemon Go game. Really though, what is the point of stuff like this? Is reality so awful that we have to constantly be surrounded by techno-escapism when not working? Do you need an app to get you to go outside?

In a related note, I have been seeing these new virtual reality machines being pushed all over the place. More opiates for the masses. In about ten or fifteen years large chunks of the population will just check out of reality completely. Add schemes for a Basic Income Guarantee (which Silicon Valley tech lords are very interested in) and you will see plenty of people reduced to living their lives completely in escapism with no need to even go out to work.

This is why the Left is naive about mass revolution. I cannot see Americans rebelling anytime soon. Too many of them are addicted to entertainment and escapism.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Tacky beyond belief.


12:28 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

It's official....

The 'Bern' has endorsed Clinton...
And so it goes that the daily facebook posts with the "what's up with Bernie" crowd have gone silent.... I wonder why?


just goes to show the -ZERO- integrity with these people... he could have just told her to pound sand and retired gracefully. I think people would have more respect for him than hitching whatever remnants of his efforts to the Botox train...unless this is his way of offering a job referral for his staff... I mean what point is there to his endorsement?... people will either accept his endorsement 'blindly', vote Trump in protest, or not vote at all... not that voting anybody at this point makes any difference but it's also not like I can unread the headlines. I think if he had wrestled her to the floor and started strangling her at least that would have been interesting! Ya think?

12:40 PM  
Anonymous tam said...

Привет, мой любимый Морис!

It’s been a while, but everything seems to be right on schedule with cultural historical models. I still believe every home needs a sewer-system, and that the key is to knowing where it is, and not swimming in it. I’m not thrilled that the sewer-system is rapidly growing under my feet, but recognizing it’s underfoot, am getting closer and closer to my escape plan.

Please know that I will be forever be grateful to you for being one of the sharpest “reality-checks” in my life! I think of you often! Крепко обмимаю и целую Вас! Спасибо, мой милий и славный друг!


1:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Lish uvidel vas
Kak lyublyu ya vas
Kak on dobri chas...

Wish I had a cyrillic keyboard...

Tell us about yr escape plan, galupchik. Vykhozhu, odin ya na dorogu...


I think it wd have been great if he had beaten her head against a wall while yelling Botox! Botox! But no such luck. She may appt him ambassador to India, get him outta the country. Feel the biryani!


Everything is entertainment for Americans, even gas chambers.


2:52 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

On behalf of your fellow citizens, allow me to thank you for your consideration.

"A 2014 survey by the “music lifestyle brand” Sol Republic found that fifty-three per cent of millennials—defined, for the survey’s purposes, as adults between eighteen and thirty-four years old—owned three or more pairs, and wore headphones for nearly four hours every day. Seventy-three per cent admitted to having slid a pair of headphones on to “avoid interaction with other people.”


5:23 PM  
Anonymous DiogenesTheElder said...

Been a while since I've lent my voice to the goings-on, and I see that there's even another Diogenes. I must say that so much of the time, the comments articulate much of what I am seeing, so commenting would be redundant. In any case, RE: "Revolution" ... I made this point about 20 years ago to a friend who was a college professor: too many have had it too good for too long for there to be any substantive change in the US. Human suffering is what "the other" does; witness the way in which someone who never gave a damned about some childhood malady is suddenly the biggest advocate for a cure when his kid is affected. Of course, this person is quickly lauded as a hero for their advocacy...Empathy is dead on a cultural level to say nothing of compassion. It really is incredible to see the decline played out daily in every nook and cranny of society, every institution.


5:49 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Bernie delivering his flock to the Botox Butcher.

To the flock I say...
Sei schlau, bleib doof !!

6:44 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Marc - bad that Trump was mentored by Roy Cohen, for sure. Equally bad is that in the here and now, neoconservative scumbags like Robert Kagan and Max Boot are flocking to endorse Hillary.

Meanwhile, the Hillary shoo-in is not nearly as certain as it looks, as her polling lead over Trump has dropped back to within the +/- margin of error. Additionally, 56% disagree with the FBI decision to not recommend the case against her be referred for prosecution, and a whopping 82% consider her personal use of e-mail at the State Department to be "inappropriate."


Personal aside--I think there is a big chance the polls could be even more useless this year than many of them turned out to be in 2012, as I suspect there are many people who are unwilling to publicly state that they support Trump who'll end up voting for him. If Trump could just partially uninsert his head from his rectum and stay focused on the breathtaking corruption of the Clintons I think he'd win in a landslide. Of course, that is a very tall order for someone who is that far up his own ass.

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

Politically Incorrect,

I know many on this blog would disagree with me, but I thought Sanders was a huckster right from the start. His whole purpose in "running" for the Democratic nomination was to give Clinton's campaign legitimacy, a false veneer of socialism. Now that he has done precisely that, throwing his support behind Clinton is the next logical step. I'm quite sure Sanders will start raking in the dough now that the primary is over, thanks to the largesse of the weapons companies and other corporate giants he dutifully served by promoting imperialism.


One thing isn't entertainment to Americans: their individual selves. It's only *other* people nations that they view as entertainment. As we know, this double-standard of "I am sacred, everyone else is expendable" is the bedrock of the American collective consciousness. What amazes me is that even Americans that understand that this is a double standard still regard it as sacrosanct. This pernicious mental habit has evolved in a particularly grotesque way: nowadays, Americans actually celebrate their own evil attributes. I can't tell you how many times I've witnessed Americans boasting about their racism, their violence, their desire to live in a brutal, dog-eat-dog world devoid of compassion. The need for ideological justifications is gradually falling away, and Americans are increasingly flaunting their own viciousness.

7:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

The latest daily massacre:


1:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Wafers, MB,

You might want to check out Steve Taylor's website. He's got some very interesting articles that reminded me of the some of the stuff we discuss here. A new recruit?


8:02 AM  
Anonymous Moishe Pupik said...

It's upsetting that the Justice would consider New Zealand instead of Cape Breton:


Maybe Her Supremeness should consider renouncing the cloth to enter a Bermanite monastery in Mexico.

Groises metsiyes, alles für gurnischt!

Moishe P.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ay Moishe, it's gd to hear from you. How is your pupik doing?


11:45 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

A good article on the problem of loneliness in the United States:


What I found troubling, though, was the search for a pharmacological or web-based aid to reducing loneliness. This seems to be a peculiar American trait. The problems created by a barren, soulless and inhuman techno-industrial capitalist culture need to solved by, tadaa, yet more techniques to be peddled by corporations. The answer is always more of what caused the problem in the first place.

There is never a true recognition that the culture is profoundly sick and needs to be fundamentally changed. No, instead it is people who must be changed, even if that means changing their brain chemistry to try to force them to fit into a sick society. To argue otherwise makes you a Luddite and an enemy of "Progress," which is the modern, secular version of the graven idol that must be satiated with human sacrifices. This is why I see the future as likely being a techno dystopia where people are increasingly managed through technique to fit into an increasingly sick society.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

I ran into the following article by Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe:

My Battle With The Thought Police

I have since discovered that Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe also wrote the book "Democracy: The God That Failed"

He now lives in Turkey - after he was chased out of his job as a professor at UNLV.
Why are they really after his job and head?
Is this a case of anti-intellectualism that started a long time ago in America?

1:02 PM  
Blogger C. J. Timmins said...

The NY Times have just published a piece about The Donald and "white identity politics" which will be well understood by our group here as hitting the wrong mark on a few points:

Suffice it to say, USA's impoverished white ppl, who are conditioned, yet disempowered hustlers, have found their god: "In a country where the wealthiest and most influential citizens are still mostly white, Mr. Trump is voicing the bewilderment and anger of whites who do not feel at all powerful or privileged."

The piece does indeed sum up the sign post that is this election: that this contingent of the populace, regardless of who is elected our next president, will continue to their descent into a Manichaean world view of us against them. Hillary = condemned violence against minorities. Trump = condoned violence against minorities. However, there is little honesty about the truth of what got us to where we are (see: Dr. Berman's entire body of work :) ).

In a similar vein, the social media account, Humans Of New York found an actual, fellow WAFer on the streets of NYC: https://www.instagram.com/p/BHxkN1wgiod/?taken-by=humansofny&hl=en

"We’re the worst terrorists in the world and it was a long time coming. This entire country was built on the slaughter of innocents. And we got what we deserved. Just look at the history of US involvement in the Middle East. All those countries are artificial. We created those countries like plastic after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. And the only way to rule a plastic country is with a dictator. Assad, Hussein, the Shah—we propped them all up. Decades of torture, murder, and oppression. We sponsored it. So I say it whenever I can. I’ve had people threaten to kill me. I’ve had people threaten to rape my children. But I’ll keep saying it. You can call me a monster. I think the people in those towers died as representatives for the rest of us for our crimes against humanity. Not only do I think that 9/11 was deserved. I think it was one of the greatest events in human history."

My biggest surprise is how many commenters agree with his analysis! Maybe an (albeit futile) awakening is not so far gone! Keep speaking up, WAFers!

1:39 PM  
Anonymous tam said...

Darling Prof. B, you are not as alone on this road as you think! … But it *is* a blessing not to be among the masses (according to my Grandmother, atomic research scientist, Columbia U.).

I shall never forget the day I was dusting my living room, CSPAN BookTV in background, when I heard someone say [regarding America], “Yeah, they think it’s still going on!” I dropped the feather-duster and fell in love. ;)

As far as my escape plan: In 1980, at age 20, I had sex-dreams about Ronald Reagan. Three-and-a-half decades later, I confess I had one about V.V. Putin. So I’m not confident I can trust my own instincts, hahaha. Of course, it would be simpler for me to move to a land where I can readily communicate, but I’m good with languages and feel confident that I could get along anywhere.

I remember you advising against anglo-states, so please, where are you fond of, these days, besides your beloved Mexico?

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

J.A. - I saw that New Yorker article too. It's funny that the author talks about the the Walkman. In an interview, Ray Bradbury said the inventor of Walkman (or more specifically having small "earbuds") said Sony took inspiration from the "Seashell Radios" Bradbury wrote about in Fahrenheit 451.

Some fun with that book: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/dreams-of-ray-bradbury-ten-predictions-that-came-true/2012/06/06/gJQAqbs9IV_story.html

2:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Costa Rica is pretty nice. Be sure to stop by Mexico, en route to checking it out. I'll have a cold glass of vodka waiting 4u. :-)


Related to this: we are 4.5% of the world's population, and consume something like 30% of the world's energy (I think that's what I read, but correct me if I'm wrong).


2:42 PM  
Blogger Rosegarden said...

Regarding growing up in the sixties and seventies -

I am a little too old to be a Boomer. I learned to read before we got a TV set. My brothers did not have that experience. They were viewing TV (but on a very limited, structured schedule) before they went to school. I personally think it made a difference, but it would be impossible to prove. I went to the state land grant college (when the fees were reasonable) on the federal program that was terrified of Sputnik. My student loan was forgiven 10% each year that I taught in a public school, up to 50%. By the fifth year I had my student loans paid off (at half price). I was the first person in the extended family to go to college.

There was a feeling that you were here on Earth to do good and be good. My parents quietly helped feed people in the family who were in bad marriages, volunteered at the church and baked cakes and brewed home-made root beer for the church fair, worked at the voting booths, attended local boro and school board meetings, and were adult advisors for the 4-H Club. It was all a natural, modest, “this is what you do as a person” attitude. They did all this while my father worked a job 6 days a week and then worked on his farm, so we would have food, no matter what else happened. I had the sense that there were things wrong in the United States, but we could and would improve.

Looking around me now, I feel betrayed.

6:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A reasonable reaction to a US that once was, but will never be again. Thank you for sharing.


6:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

What trash Americans are:


8:28 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


Old story, but a good example of the Canadian "time gap". American children don't play with toys anymore. They are uploaded into a systemic program of digital identity.

Now, Americans would have been drooling to invest in the app version. But then again, doodling is too Dasein. We need a fully Wachsein program of highly detailed photographic imagery in children's games.

I will be off for studies in the great white north in a few weeks. As a young man, I have perhaps more regret about not being able to work here than I should, but I want something vaguely resembling a normal life at some point, and that's never happening for American millennials that refuse to utterly subjugate themselves.

9:34 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

A lot of people on the blog talk about Pokemon Go, and most put it in the category of just another form of escapism. But after playing the game I've realized Pokemon Go is different than other delusions in a big way. Pokemon represent the re-population of the physical world - depopulated of real animals - by the introduction of digital animals. Humans have brought about the 6th great extinction through climate change, and now they're walking around the world they've destroyed, urged on by the promise of domination over digital organisms (a stand-in for the natural world). Much like the story of the Holocaust Museum, I don't really see a way to remedy this without mourning the real loss that's taken place, but as Dr. Berman has noted before, that's not going to happen because it requires the individual to relate to something other than themselves.

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...


Thank you for sharing your experiences. I know we have to be careful not to idealize the past but in some cases nostalgia really IS warranted. I am in my 30s and I have to say that most of my peers are extremely unhappy. My anecdotal evidence seems to match with the data: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/americans-over-30-are-more-miserable-than-theyve-ever-been-2015-11-09

The worst part about America today is that interpersonal relationships are absolutely wretched. I am lucky to have a few decent friends, although I often wonder if they would help me if I really ended up in a bad spot. I envy my Boomer parents who still have a number of close friends from work and school. They still plays cards with them every week.

I think one of the big problems with Americans these days is that many of them have no sense of right or wrong, good or bad. What is "right" and "good" is whatever benefits me and what is "wrong" or "bad" is whatever harms me. No thought is given to other people. No wonder we are in the grips of an epidemic of narcissism.

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...


As far as 9/11 is concerned, I think it's both horrible and well-deserved all at once. On the individual level, it's a terrorist atrocity, because it killed many innocent janitors, waiters, etc. in addition to the corporate higher-ups that deserved to be killed. However, on a larger, more impersonal scale, it was indeed well-deserved payback, albeit an infinitesimal fraction of what America really deserves. If 9/11 didn't kill any innocent civilians, and actually managed to kill members of the government, or the CEOs of major American corporations, then it would actually be one of the greatest events in human history. I'm not surprised that many of our countrymen threatened to kill you and rape your children; I would guess that these same people rant and rave about their desire to execute murderers and child rapists.

12:15 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Stuck in the lawn in front of a mansion in the swanky part of this town a large and colorful political sign of corrugated plastic trumpets the following message:


[Big picture of Stars & Stripes]


Bit of an attitude problem, you think?

Costa Rica's on my bucket list.

12:15 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

My question to Ruth Bader Ginsberg would be: where were you during the Bush years? Eight years of wanton criminality and brutality emanating from the White House with nary a peep about emigrating, yet now she's going apeshit about Trump before he's even had a chance to do anything but run his mouth? She is just another powerful "liberal" who is happy to enjoy the fruits of neoliberalism and empire just so long as they are given some bullshit "humanitarian" justification, and now feels threatened by the guy who has decided to be somewhat honest about what a bunch of inhuman monsters Americans collectively are.

The other day my wife, most of whose friends are upper middle class liberals but who really doesn't pay attention to such things, mentioned offhand that many people she knows just love Uber. I cringed, as I do now whenever I hear a supposedly good liberal start to prattle on about what a great deal they got while shopping at Costco, or otherwise brag about how cheaply they were able to buy some particular item without giving even a moment's thought or care about who it is that is paying the hidden costs just so they can save a few bucks.

Even the Bernie Sanders "revolution" occurred primarily because so many young people are facing long term economic hardship, and as a result cannot afford to buy all of the goodies--especially of the electronic variety--that upper middle class people have come to believe they can't live without. Climate change, income disparity, poverty, imperial wars--all those are issues liberals claim to care about in the abstract, but when it comes right down to it most are just as materialistic and self centered as the average Silicon Valley billionaire.

12:30 AM  
Blogger heather said...

It's been along time since I've posted here. I pop in every once in awhile to read the blogs. But I'm usually busy with my kids.
Pokemon had already been mentioned. As someone had said its a great way to rob somebody. Well you're probably right. I'm just dying to see "ER Related Incidents Gone Up Do To Use Of Pokemon Go" in the headlines.
Today while crossing the street my three year old was almost run down by some idiots who couldn't wait to get those Pokemons. I was able to feel them chomping at the bits behind us. When we finally got across the street there was no apology or anything. As a matter of fact they didn't even seem to notice us there at all. They had to be thirty years old. Not surprisingly I got home and read that people are trying to "catch" those things at national monuments.
This is one of many reasons I encourage my kids to jump ship on this sinking boat when they get older. I guess that's if they get older. No guarantees they won't end up in some mass shooting anymore.
I don't think I'll have to do much convincing though. They may only be four and three, but they're WAFErs in the making. They're pretty good at detecting bs already

12:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thank you all for sharing. It's quite amazing to realize that all this is what America has become. No, I didn't fall asleep and have a bad dream: all of this really *is* America.


2:46 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Jacob: I agree with you but when I said look up, I meant it!


10:12 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

John May, 53, is behind bars as a result of calling 911 over an "incorrect" drive-thru order:



Good points. You know, it's interesting that the presidency is nothing more than an ultimate reality TV show at this point. And the 24/7 media trouncing that Trump endures on a daily basis proves just how much the whole thing is a fucking charade. Trump chills my blood, of course, but part of his charm is the fact that he's hated so much.


Speaking of American trash, have u seen this?:



1:33 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

"Speaking of American trash..."

Looking at a pile of books beside my chair--which threatens to topple over at any moment, trapping and ultimately suffocating me--I see a copy of Waltzing at the Doomsday Ball, a collection of essays by Joe Bageant.

WAFers not familiar with him may find his writing worth their time. Especially now, as we march headlong into some shitstorm or other, headcase or harridan at the helm.

From the Wikipedia article on Joe, this:

"In Deerhunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War Bageant discusses how Democrats have lost the political support of poor rural whites and how the Republican Party has convinced these individuals to 'vote against their own economic self-interest."

Bageant, who was born into a poor family in Winchester, Virginia in 1946, became a journalist and editor. He described himself as a "redneck socialist." Bageant spent the last years of his life in Ajijic, Mexico, a small town in Central Mexico; he died of cancer in March 2011.

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Bill Hicks,

I agree with you. I think Occupy Wall Street was mostly a rebellion by frustrated consumers. Also, many liberals seem to have a particularly weird love for Silicon Valley companies as if they are different from corporations like those in fields such as mining and oil. I remember the intense mourning for Steve Jobs when he died, which included OWS people.

I wonder how many upper middle class liberals would love Uber and similar companies if it was their professions that were being dismantled and casualized? Would they love the gig economy so much if they were the ones experiencing its downside? But I don't bother pointing this out to people. In true American fashion they cannot think outside of their own selfish interests and will become very angry if you criticize their favorite consumer good or service.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I did an obit of Joe; it's archived on this blog, and was also published in several places.

Meanwhile, Trump and Hillary are now neck and neck. God, it wd be so fabulous if he won. 67% of Americans polled said they don't trust Hillary, but this was the wrong question. The rt question is, "Do you think Hillary is a total douche bag with Botox in her face?"


4:36 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Don't get your hopes up too much, Dr. B. I know you arent one to entertain conspiracies; but since people think I'm nuts anyway, I'll go ahead and say that electronic voting machines make a Trump presidency highly unlikely -- even if he were to actually win.

I guess there is always the chance they will mis-estimate how much they have to compensate for Trump's under polling when they bake-in the algorithm. If it became a 3 or 4 way race, that could complicate things as well. Wait a minute...

Dare we dream? Maybe it isn't so unrealistic at all. Should we be running just-in-case scenarios for how the implosion of a highly botoxified douchebag could be survived, mitigated, enjoyed...???

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't make that stuff up

"The men, who were in their early 20s, were playing “Pokemon Go” at the time and likely were led to the cliff when they were trying to catch characters, said Sgt. Rich Eaton of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department."


5:58 PM  
Anonymous tam said...

Dearest Prof M,

Vodochka, da, spisibo! I’ll bring sevruga c., and we can toast the night away, with local tortillas being good blini stand-ins! :)

Oh, certainly Costa Rica is lovely and a very sound refuge, I appreciate the recommendation. I adore the tropics for vacay, but no-can-do on a daily basis. My organism is comfier at a latitude somewhat farther from the equator.

I’m focusing more on my roots, East and Central Europe. From what I understand, I can apply for citizenship in countries that either my parents or grandparents hailed from. So I have three to choose from.

I like the idea of moving to a land which I can be an official citizen of. Most countries make this difficult, unless you are born there or are an immediate descendent (one or two generations removed). Are you familiar [in a broad sense] with these sorts of requirements? Do you think it matters? To be able to have dual citizenship?

My best friend (USA national), a veterinarian, married a Swiss national, moved to Switzerland to be with him, and even after 5 years, wasn’t granted permission to work in Switzerland! She so missed practicing vet-med, that she and hubby moved back to US! Switzerland is one tough cookie!

Okay, need to keep it short, or you’ll get your panties in a twist, I know. HA!


7:15 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I hadn't planned on posting today, but this story is just too juicy to let pass without comment--it seems three adult women in Michigan ended up getting stranded on a riverbank overnight while tubing after some wiseguy told them the river flows in a circle and would return them to their car:


In defense of the anonymous wiseguy, he or she probably couldn't imagine that anyone would be that dumb. Live and learn.

9:36 PM  
Anonymous The Craw said...


Justice Ginsberg hates Trump because he is crass but, more importantly, because he is not endorsed or supported by the conservative branch of the Washington elites. Notwithstanding her "liberal" status, Justice Ginsberg moves in the same social circles as those conservative elites. Therefore it is O.K. for her to hate Trump publicly and not rankle anyone in those circles. G.W.Bush was a tool and a liar who started an unjust war but he had the support of the beltway conservatives. Ruth was loathe to criticize him lest she alienate her conservative chums.


"...part of his charm is the fact that he's hated so much."

Indeed. For my self I liken it to the bad guy pro wrestlers I watched on TV when I was a kid. During the interviews between matches the "heels" made insulting and threatening remarks about everyone - the announcer, their opponents and even the fans. They were sneering and unapologetic louts. For my money they were the highlight of the broadcast! They were colossal jerks but nevertheless entertaining.(By comparison, the good guys were dull and two dimensional.) Lots of people loved to hate the heels, hoping that they'd get their comeuppance. On the other hand others LIKED them for their brashness and blunt language. I'm sure there were some in this latter group who secretly wished they could be like them. In short, like the heels, Trump is good theater for some and, unfortunately, a role model to others.

1:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill, tam-

Pls observe 24-hr rule, thank you.


3:53 AM  
Anonymous Homeboy Number One said...

Speaking of wrassling, is this Ludvig Borga a WAFER? I guess acknowledging reality in this country is a heel turn:

12:46 AM  
Anonymous Ernesto Ibáñez said...

Excellent blog, Congrats to the Web Master, nice colors and text.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge. God bless you.

Cherry Marmalade Recipe
Geetings from Venezuela.

10:47 AM  

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